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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Iran angry over nuclear pressure
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi
Kharrazi said some countries were being irresponsible and arrogant
Iran has warned it may review co-operation with the UN's nuclear watchdog if "extremists" prevail in current deliberations and eliminate its right to peaceful nuclear energy.

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi accused some Western countries of trying to destroy co-operation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and exclude the agency.

His comments came as the IAEA's Board of Governors adjourned to consider a resolution setting a deadline for Iran to clarify questions about its nuclear programme.

The United States, France, Germany, Britain and Japan are behind a toughly-worded resolution demanding that Iran show full compliance with the IAEA and that it suspend all further uranium-enrichment activities.

The board is due to reconvene on Thursday in the Austrian capital Vienna.

But Mr Kharrazi said the position adopted by some countries on the board was irresponsible and arrogant.

Iran had a right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy he said in a statement carried by the official Iranian news agency.

"There is an apparent and deliberate attempt by some to torpedo the process of co-operation and remove the agency from the process," Mr Kharrazi said.

"The prevailing view seems to favour consensus. This can lead to accelerated co-operation on our part."

Tough reaction?

Mr Kharrazi's reference to "some Western countries" most likely referred to Britain, France, Germany and Japan, the BBC's Jim Muir in Tehran says.

All these countries have joined the US in sponsoring the motion which would give Iran until the end of October to fully clarify all outstanding questions about its nuclear programme.

Our correspondent says the minister's statement was opaque enough to leave options open, but was also a signal that if the resolution is carried in Vienna, Iran's reaction may well be tough.

Speaking as the IAEA's Board of Governors meeting adjourned, the agency's Director General, Mohammed ElBaradei, said there was broad agreement that the board wanted to see a deadline.

Dr ElBaradei said he was in favour of an immediate disclosure of all nuclear activities in Iran.

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