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Iran will make own medical reactor fuel if needs be: cleric

world Updated: Nov 28, 2009 18:06 IST

Iran will produce its own enriched uranium for a medical research reactor in Tehran if the nuclear fuel is not made available by the UN atomic watchdog, a senior hardline cleric today.

Ahmad Khatami, speaking at a Tehran University prayer service to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, warned world powers that Iran will not be cowed by threats or swayed by "bribery" to give up its right to nuclear technology.

He was responding to a resolution adopted yesterday by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanding that Iran halt construction of a new uranium enrichment facility.

Uranium enrichment is the process used to make fuel for nuclear power plants, but when extended it can also produce fissile material for an atomic bomb as well as potentially supplying the medical research reactor.

Western powers have long suspected that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb and disclosure in September of the previously secret new plant triggered widespread outrage.

Iran vehemently denies that its atomic programme has military aims and insists that it has the right to enrich uranium and make nuclear fuel.

Khatami deemed the resolution to be "completely political and not technical in nature," but did not discuss its substance.