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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 August 2006, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Iran to ignore nuclear resolution
Preliminary installation of a turbo generator at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. File photo
Iran says it has a right to pursue its nuclear ambitions
Iran has vowed to pursue its nuclear programme, in its first official response to last week's UN resolution urging it to curb nuclear activities.

Chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said Tehran would continue to develop nuclear energy within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Last week the Security Council said Iran faced possible sanctions if it did not stop uranium enrichment this month.

Some members fear Iran may use the technology to build nuclear weapons.

Iran says its motives are peaceful.

"Our activities respect the Non-Proliferation Treaty... so we will not accept the suspension [of uranium enrichment]," Mr Larijani said.

"They should know that such resolutions will not affect our determination. We will pursue the nuclear rights of Iranians which are enshrined in the NPT."

Further discussions

Mr Larijani also warned that sanctions would hurt the West more, leaving people there shivering from cold during the winter because of higher oil prices.

The UN Security Council passed resolution 1696 by 14 votes to one on 31 July.

It gives Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment and open its nuclear programme to international inspections.

If Tehran fails to do so, the council will consider economic sanctions.

But following objections by Russia and China to the specific mention of sanctions, further discussions will have to take place about what further steps to take.

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