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Iran: No Compromise on Nuclear Program - 2003-09-28

Iran says it will continue to conduct uranium enrichment, but has no intention of producing nuclear weapons.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Sunday that Tehran will not compromise its nuclear program.

Iran insists its nuclear program is designed solely for the peaceful generation of electricity. The International Atomic Energy Agency has given Tehran until October 31 to prove it has no secret atomic weapons program. It also called on Iran to halt all uranium-enrichment activities.

Unless Iran removes all doubts about its program, the issue could be turned over to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions against Tehran.

In August, inspectors in Iran found traces of highly enriched uranium. Tehran said the traces were on imported equipment from overseas suppliers.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sunday Tehran will not abandon its nuclear activities, and will not give up its right to enrich uranium. He described Iran's nuclear program as "transparent."

A team of inspectors from the IAEA was to have departed Vienna Sunday for Tehran to begin intense inspections of Iran's nuclear program. However, Iran apparently said it needed more time to prepare for the visit. Consequently, the arrival of the first wave of inspectors has been postponed until Thursday.

Washington has said it suspects Tehran's nuclear program is a cover for the development of nuclear weapons.