Iran Nuclear NewsIran warns of escalation in nuclear crisis

Iran warns of escalation in nuclear crisis

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AFP: A senior Iranian official issued yet another blunt warning to the European Union Tuesday not to refer a crisis over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme to the UN Security Council. AFP

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian official issued yet another blunt warning to the European Union Tuesday not to refer a crisis over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme to the UN Security Council.

Britain, France and Germany “are mistaken on our policies, and think that if they increase the pressure we will back down,” senior national security official Ali Agha Mohammadi was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA.

“This is an error because if they do such a thing, the Iranian strategy will also be to raise the stakes in response,” said Mohammadi, spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

Last month Iran resumed converting uranium — a precursor to the ultra-sensitive enrichment process — in violation of a deal reached with the so-called EU-3.

On August 11, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called on Iran to halt all nuclear fuel work and return to the table, but Iran is standing firm in its refusal.

The United States and EU-3 are pushing for a Security Council referral when the UN nuclear watchdog’s board of governors next meets on September 19.

As a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran insists it is allowed to make nuclear fuel by enriching uranium.

But the process can be diverted to military purposes, and there are widespread suspicions the clerical regime wants to acquire the technology to produce nuclear weapons.

“If the Europeans understand that we will defend our interests and that it is impossible for us to compromise (on enrichment), we could reach an understanding and have a good board of governors meeting at the IAEA,” Mohammadi said.

“But if they miscalculate, this would lead to a challenging situation,” he added.

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