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Iran: UN Technical Aid Cuts Will Not Affect Uranium Enrichment Work

Iran's envoy to the United Nations nuclear agency says sharp cuts in technical aid projects to Tehran will not affect the country's uranium enrichment work.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh says Iran's sensitive nuclear work will continue as planned under the safeguards of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA. He says the cuts are not related to Iran's enrichment program.

Soltanieh spoke after the IAEA's 35-nation board decided Thursday to freeze or curb nearly half of its more than 50 aid projects to Iran, out of concern Tehran may be trying to build nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

The IAEA's move follows a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted in December that bans transfers of aid and technology related to Iran's nuclear activity and missile projects.

The resolution demanded that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment work within 60 days, but Tehran ignored the measure.

Officials from Germany and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - have been discussing additional sanctions on Iran.

The United States and its Western allies suspect that Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.