Iran threatens to resume enrichment unless its demands are met

Iran threatened Tuesday to resume uranium enrichment and block U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities unless the U.N. nuclear agency stepped back from its resolution to refer the country to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

According to foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi Iran would also consider reducing its trade with those countries that voted for Saturday's resolution, particularly India.

"We were very surprised by India," he said. The country is interested in importing Iranian natural gas through a pipeline that will pass through Pakistan.

The IAEA resolution put Iran on the verge of referral to the U.N. Security Council unless Tehran eases suspicions about its nuclear activities. The resolution told Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities, including uranium conversion, to abandon construction of a heavy water nuclear reactor, and to grant access to certain locations and documents.

Iran has rejected the resolution, protesting it was politically motivated and without legal foundation.

Asefi said Tuesday that Iran was asking its European negotiating partners - Britain, France and Germany - and the IAEA for two things:

"First, they should not insist (on the terms of the resolution). Second, they should correct it. If the other parties' reaction is not along these lines, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take these measures," Asefi said.

He said Iran would cease to abide by the "voluntary measures" that it has been implementing as an expression of good will.

"If the IAEA and European countries don't make up for their error, we will cancel all voluntary measures we have taken," he said.

Effectively, this means that Iran would resume enrichment of uranium, which is currently suspended,

Asefi warned that referral to the U.N. Security Council could have unforeseen consequences.

Asefi reiterated that Iran would never abandon its uranium enrichment program, a right to which it is entitled as a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the AP reports.

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