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Iran to halt cooperation in case of referral

Iran renewed a threat to halt all cooperation with the UN's nuclear watchdog if referred to the Security Council.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 11:24 IST

Iran on Monday renewed a threat to halt "all voluntary cooperation" with the UN's nuclear watchdog if referred to the Security Council.

The country appealed for another month of talks to resolve the crisis.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki also told reporters he was travelling to London on Tuesday for a conference on Afghanistan where "the possibility exists that I will talk to other foreign ministers".

"All our friends in Europe and the IAEA board know the Islamic republic's position: referring the case to or informing the UN Security Council will lead to Iran stopping all voluntary cooperation," he told a news conference.

"The first victim will be the additional protocol," he said, referring to a text -- signed but not ratified by Iran -- that gives the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more powers of inspection.

On Thursday, the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors will consider arguments from the European powers and the United States that Iran must be sent to the Security Council for resuming uranium enrichment research.

Iran says it only wants to make fuel for an atomic energy drive, but enrichment technology can be extended to make weapons.

The West is sticking to its hard line that the Security Council take immediate action, according to a draft resolution.

Mottaki also repeated his view that "this emergency IAEA meeting should give way to the ordinary session on March 6, so we have the opportunity for more negotiations and reaching an understanding that is satisfactory for both sides.

First Published: Jan 30, 2006 11:24 IST