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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 May, 2005, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Iran bill urges more nuclear work
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (right) at Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility, 30 March 2005
The next round of talks could be the last chance to find a solution
The Iranian parliament has passed a motion urging the government to resume its nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment for "peaceful use".

The move was approved by 188 out of 205 deputies on Sunday.

Nonetheless, Iranian officials say France, Germany and the UK will be given a "last chance" in talks to be held before the fuel cycle is resumed.

The European Union has threatened to back a US call for UN sanctions if Iran resumes the programme.

"Time is running fast," said an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi.

"What will happen in the upcoming days will be the last chance for the Europeans."

Sanctions threat

He said a meeting could soon take place between the foreign ministers of the three European countries and Iran's top negotiator, Hassan Rohani.

Mr Asefi also said that many foreign governments, including South Africa and Malaysia, had put pressure to hold a last round of talks before resuming the programme.

Iran has been offered subsidies and technical support in return for giving up its uranium enrichment activities, which the West fears might be used also for military purposes.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is obliged to take action to obtain peaceful nuclear technology including provision of the fuel cycle for generating 20,000 megawatts of electricity," the motion said.

Iran says it is its right to enrich uranium, but is ready to offer guarantees that its nuclear programme will be exclusively for civilian purposes.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has already warned that should Iran breach the agreement with the EU and resume its programme, it would back the US in referring Iran to the UN Security Council.

Also France and Germany have said any violation of the November 2004 agreement would have "consequences" for Iran.


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