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Iran threatens to drop nuclear fuel deal

Iran could abandon a nuclear fuel deal, which it says recognises Tehran's right to enrich uranium, if world powers do not accept it in full, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said today.

world Updated: May 22, 2010 22:58 IST

Iran could abandon a nuclear fuel deal, which it says recognises Tehran's right to enrich uranium, if world powers do not accept it in full, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on Saturday.

"Parliament backs the Tehran Declaration (on a fuel swap deal) in its entirety. If they seek to consider it partially, the house will not accept that," Larijani said, quoted by the state IRNA news agency.

"It will not be compatible with the Tehran Declaration if they have extra demands and pursue deception," he said, without elaborating.

A deal brokered this week by Brazil and Turkey to ship half of Iran's low enriched to Turkey for a swap with reactor fuel recognises Tehran's right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, according to a joint declaration carried by Iranian media.

But the UN Security Council has called on Iran to halt uranium enrichment in five resolution and world powers led by the United States are seeking further sanctions against Tehran over its defiance.

Larijani insisted the deal has "things to offer for us and for the other party. and it is a logical framework for talks."

The comments came after his deputy Mohammad Reza Bahonar warned that Iran would pull out of the fuel deal if the UN Security Council slaps more sanctions on the Islamic republic over its continued uranium enrichment.

Tehran denies seeking nuclear weapons through enrichment and insists it has a right to enrich uranium to produce fuel as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

However, Tehran sparked international concern in February by stepping up its enrichment level to 20 percent -- still much lower than bomb grade.

On Tuesday, the United States submitted a draft UN resolution calling for an international clampdown on Iranian banks, shipping and business dealings that could be linked to its nuclear activities.

The draft has the blessing of all five of the veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, including the usual standouts China and Russia, according to Washington.