Hundreds of chanting Iranian demonstrators gathered Tuesday outside a uranium conversion plant in central Iran, demanding that their government continue its controversial nuclear fuel program.

Protesters at the Isfahan plant - many of them Islamist students - also urged Tehran to break off talks with European negotiators who want Iran to end its nuclear activities.

Last week, Iran defied the negotiators and re-started its conversion process, which the United States and other Western governments say could lead Iran to develop atomic weapons.

Iran says it wants to enrich uranium to power nuclear reactors for generating electricity. The government insists it has the right to do so under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty.

In Tehran, Iran's new nuclear policy chief Ali Larijani said Tehran will proceed with its fuel cycle work, while continuing talks with the EU

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.