Iran rules out conditions in Russia plan
Tehran insists it must be allowed to enrich uranium in Iran
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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran will not consider a proposal by Moscow to enrich uranium on Russian soil and ship it to Tehran if it means the country must cease all enrichment activity on its own soil, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Sunday.
Iran has rejected a similar proposal in the past, and the latest rejection showed mounting international pressure has not changed the government's stance.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi told journalist Shirzad Bozorgmehr that his country would like to resolve its dispute with the international community "through dialogue" but insisted that Iran must continue its own nuclear research -- including enrichment on at least a small scale.
He said Iran would "not give in to international pressure to give up our rights to nuclear research."
The Russian proposal would require Iran to stop all enrichment activity, but Asefi said talks could continue to resolve the impasse.
Earlier, Asefi was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) saying that "the situation has changed."
"We should wait and see how developments will go on among different states, including the five permanent members of the United Nations Security-Council," Asefi was quoted as saying by the state-run Islamic Republic news agency.
"Undoubtedly, Iran will not renounce its rights."
He also said "under no possibilities" will the Iranian Parliament ratify the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Asefi made those remarks to reporters at a conference dubbed "Energy and Security: Asian Vision."
The thorny issue of Iran's nuclear ambitions was referred to the U.N. Security Council this week after International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei presented a report critical of Iran's nuclear programs to his agency's board of governors in Vienna.
After ElBaradei presented his report, the United States called for immediate action by the Security Council, which could impose sanctions against Tehran.
The permanent members of the Council -- the United States, China, France, Britain and Russia -- began talks Friday afternoon aimed at coming up with a text for a response to the Iran nuclear crisis. The full Council could begin debate on the issue next week.
In his comments Sunday, Asefi blasted the decision of the IAEA to send the matter to the Security Council, calling it "unacceptable."
Iran has said its nuclear activities are for civilian purposes -- the development of nuclear energy. But U.S. and other Western leaders have expressed concerns that Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
The IAEA chief's report raised questions about Tehran's claim that its pursuit of nuclear technology is solely for peaceful purposes.
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