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Iran warns Europe to make good on nuclear promises

Iran sent a veiled warning to Europe on Sunday to meet its pledges towards Tehran, which has just inked an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), IRNA reported from Tehran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said it was now the European Union's turn to make good on its promises, made during a landmark visit of three key European foreign ministers to Tehran in October, aimed at fending off a likely crisis.

"The Islamic Republic has not given any body a signed blank check; like what we did, the global community, especially Europe, must take steps for necessary facilities for Iran's legitimate use (of the nuclear technology)," he said at a weekly news briefing.

Tehran is under a de facto nuclear embargo, which bans the sale of nuclear know-how, including goods with double use, to the Islamic Republic.

Asefi said such 'tough measures, implemented with regard to certain goods under the pretext of being goods of double use must be lifted'.

"We will continue our cooperation only if the global community fulfills its own commitments," the official added.

Iran apparently received assurances from Europe during the visit of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his French and German counterparts Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer to Tehran that prompted the country to sign up to an unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities.

On Thursday, the country signed an agreement at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna to prove its nuclear activities are peaceful.

The signing poured cold water on a frantic US bid to accuse Tehran of pursuing a nuclear arms program.

Tehran says its nuclear efforts are part of the country's plan to produce 7,000 megawatts of electricity in the next 20 years, when the country's oil and gas reserves become overstretched.

... Payvand News - 12/21/03 ... --

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