Iran threatens uranium enrichment if referred to UN

Iran will resume large-scale enrichment of uranium and stop intrusive UN inspections if it is referred to the UN Security Council, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said today.

But Ali Larijani also said Iran remains committed to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, despite calls from hardline newspapers to withdraw from the agreement if the International Atomic Energy Agency refers Iran to the Security Council tomorrow, as is expected.

“We are committed to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty,” Larijani said.

Referring to tomorrow’s meeting of the IAEA, he added: “In case the issue is reported or referred to the Security Council, we will have to stop implementation of the Additional Protocol” – an procedure that allows IAEA inspectors to carry out intrusive searches of a country’s nuclear facilities without prior warning.

“The result would be Iran’s co-operating with the IAEA at a low level, which is against our wishes. All our suspensions on nuclear activities would be lifted,” he said.

In the event of referral, “the law obliges the government to lift all work that was voluntarily suspended … naturally, uranium enrichment at industrial scale is included in that (suspension). We will do that,” he said.

Larijani said Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz was ready for large-scale enrichment.

“Natanz is ready for work. We only need to notify the IAEA that we are resuming (large-scale) enrichment. When we do that is our call. If they (report Iran to the Security Council), we will do it quickly,” Larijani said.

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