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Iran rejects UN call to suspend enrichment

The regime announced on Tuesday that its scientists had successfully enriched uranium to make nuclear fuel.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 11:31 IST

Iran's president has again rejected UN demands to freeze sensitive nuclear work, in comments coinciding with the arrival in Tehran of UN atomic chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

"The situation is completely changed. We are a nuclear state," hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in the wake of a breakthrough in the country's disputed nuclear programme.

The regime announced on Tuesday that its scientists had successfully enriched uranium to make nuclear fuel. Iran says its programme is peaceful, but the enrichment process can be extended to make the fissile core of a nuclear warhead.

"We will not negotiate on our rights with anyone," Ahmadinejad said.

ElBaradei, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency, had arrived in Tehran overnight for talks with the regime's top nuclear negotiator.

"We hope to convince Iran to take confidence-building measures including suspension of uranium enrichment activities until outstanding issues are clarified," ElBaradei said.

"I would like to see Iran has come to terms with the request of the international community."

The UN Security Council has set April 28 as a deadline for Tehran to halt enrichment.

First Published: Apr 13, 2006 11:26 IST