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Iran won't give up atomic research - top official

Written by: Staff
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TEHRAN, Mar 5 (Reuters) Iran will not give in to demands that it halt nuclear fuel research and will press ahead with plans to enrich uranium if its case is hauled before the UN Security Council, Iran's top nuclear negotiator said today.

''Going to the Security Council will certainly not make Iran go back on research and development,'' Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told a news conference.

He was speaking a day before board members of the UN's nuclear watchdog meet again in Vienna to discuss Iran's case.

Western countries, particularly the United States, fear Iran could use nuclear fuel research to master techniques such as uranium enrichment -- a process which can be used to produce bomb-grade fuel. Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to a low-grade suitable for use in atomic power reactors.

''If our case is referred to the Security Council we will resume (large-scale) uranium enrichment,'' Larijani said.

REUTERS SY KP1845

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