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Iran to halt uranium enrichment


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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran said Sunday it will temporarily halt its uranium enrichment program while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigates the country's nuclear activities.

Hamid Reza Asefi, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, told reporters that the uranium enrichment program will be put on hold within the next few days.

Inspectors with the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, are in Iran to assure the country is not operating a nuclear weapons program.

The United States has said Tehran is seeking to build such weapons, but Iran denied the accusation and said its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes.

Asefi said his country, a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), expects European countries with advanced nuclear technology to provide Iran with such technology once the IAEA determines there is no nuclear weapons program.

The IAEA's governing board is scheduled to meet Nov. 20 to hear from inspectors. A verdict on whether the IAEA is complying with its NPT obligations is expected sometime after.

-- Journalist Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.


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