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UPDATED: 15:23, November 02, 2004
Iran approves uranium enrichment bill
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The Iranian parliament has unanimously approved a bill, giving officials the all-important green light to resume uranium enrichment. The move looks set to further complicate the international dispute over the country's nuclear activities, reported CCTV on Tuesday.

Demonstrations across the capital, Tehran, have lent support to the government's nuclear stance, but the International Atomic Energy Agency has renewed calls for a suspension of related enrichment programs.

Around 500 university students gathered to form a human chain as a defense line around the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency in Tehran on Monday to show their support for Iran's nuclear program.

This student said they want to make the world understand that they are protecting peaceful nuclear technology. And they stress that they are only defending their legitimate rights. Iranian people won't accept any oppression imposed by the Europeans.

The protest is a reaction to the United Nations nuclear chief's annual report to the UN General Assembly that urges Iran to suspend uranium enrichment program.

Mohamed El Baradei, director general of IAEA, said, "Iran has reversed some of the suspension measures initially undertaken in November 2003, and the board has called on Iran again to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities as a confidence-building measure."

Iran has not yet set a date for when it will resume its uranium enrichment activities, and details of the bill have yet to be worked out. But it referred to the parliament vote as "a message to the world."

Meanwhile, Iran has repeated its position that the government will guarantee its nuclear program won't be diverted towards building dirty weapons.


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