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Rice Accuses Iran of 'Playing Games' in Nuclear Dispute

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has accused Iran of "playing games" in the international dispute over its nuclear program.

Rice spoke on Sunday on U.S. television (ABC), one day after Tehran said the U.N. nuclear agency could conduct spot inspections of Iran's uranium-enrichment facilities -- only if the threat of U.N. sanctions is lifted.

She said if Iran is not "playing games," then it should stop the enrichment as ordered by the U.N. Security Council. She also urged Iran to "come clean" and answer international concerns about its nuclear program.

But in a speech today in Tehran, Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said his country will not accept what he called "forced" U.N. resolutions. He reiterated Iran's plan to master sensitive nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

His remarks come two days after the International Atomic Energy Agency reported to the Security Council that Iran missed a U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment. The report paves the way for the Council to consider punitive actions against Iran.

Meanwhile, a new Israeli satellite designed to spy on Iran's nuclear program sent its first pictures back to earth. Pictures published in Israeli newspapers showed vivid images of a Syrian dam, helicopters in Sudan and a military port in an unidentified country.

But the satellite's main purpose is to track Iran's nuclear program, which Israel sees as the top strategic threat it faces today. A representative of the company (Shimon Eckhaus) operating the satellite says the pictures provide intelligence that gives Israel a strategic edge.
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