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Iran Still Opposing Long Moratorium on Uranium Enrichment


A diplomat at the U.N. atomic agency's talks on Iran's nuclear program says the Tehran government has made it clear it will not agree to a compromise that includes a long-term moratorium on uranium enrichment.

The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency is meeting in Vienna again Tuesday to discuss Iran's nuclear program and whether to seek sanctions from the U.N. Security Council.

Iran has said it intends to go forward with nuclear research and uranium enrichment for a civilian energy program. The United States and European countries say Iran may be trying to develop nuclear weapons.

I.A.E.A. chief Mohamed ElBaradei has expressed optimism the dispute could be resolved soon. There have been reports that Russia is proposing a compromise that would have Iran suspend uranium enrichment activities but allow Tehran to continue with limited nuclear research.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns says the Bush administration will reject any proposal that would not stop Iran's domestic uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

Burns said the world must be "tough minded" to get Iran to roll back its nuclear activity. He also said the United States would build a coalition of countries to impose U.N. sanctions against Iran.

China today urged Iran to fully cooperate with the I.A.E.A. to defuse its nuclear standoff with the West.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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