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Iran: Uranium enrichment goes on

Kharrazi: Nuclear weapons would contravene religious values.
Kharrazi: Nuclear weapons would contravene religious values.

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(CNN) -- Iran said it will continue with its uranium enrichment program despite international concerns about the country's nuclear ambitions.

"We will not allow anyone to deprive us of our legitimate right to use nuclear technology, particularly enrichment for providing fuel for nuclear plants," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency Tuesday.

Iran was branded part of the "axis of evil" with North Korea and pre-war Iraq by the United States, which claims Tehran's nuclear program is being used to create an atomic bomb.

Tehran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful use, the generation of electricity.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has warned Tehran that it must come clean about its nuclear ambitions before October 31 or it will be reported to the United Nations Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Enriched uranium can be used as fuel for power plants, or as bomb material if highly enriched.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking at a conference of pray leaders late Monday, called on his country to resist international pressure.

"The international power centers, by continuing their plots, have aimed to impede this country's progress," he was quoted as saying in the hardline Jomhuri-ye Eslami newspaper.

"All people ... should stand up against the enemy's demands," he added.

But Kharrazi said Iran had no plans to quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and reiterated the Islamic Republic's stance that the development of nuclear weapons would contravene its religious values.


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