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Iran Insists Nuclear Freeze Only Temporary - 2004-12-01


Iran says it has not abandoned its right to enrich uranium, and says its agreement to suspend processing will end in "several months."

A top nuclear official in Tehran, Hassan Rowhani, said the agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency will only last as long as talks continue with European envoys on long-term nuclear issues.

He said those talks -- set to resume in mid-December -- should take months, not years, to complete.

Monday's IAEA agreement staved off a U.S. push to bring the matter to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. Washington alleges Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies this.

Speaking in Canada today (Tuesday), President Bush called the IAEA deal "a positive, but not a final step." He said procedures must be developed to verify that Iran is honoring the agreement.

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