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Iran Denies Reported Uranium Import from DRC
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Iran's top official on Sunday denied a report that Iran had attempted to import uranium 238 for its nuclear program from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani told reporters at a press conference that "the report is completely inauthentic, we have uranium mines and reprocessing plant in Iran, obviously we don't need to import."

"This is American's psychological war to feed the public mind between times," he added.

According to a recent report from British newspaper Sunday Times, customs officials in Tanzania intercepted and captured a huge shipment of uranium 238 (U-238) in a routine check on Oct. 22,2005.

The shipment was bound for Iran's southern port of Bandar Abbas, an unnamed customs official told the paper.

The huge shipment of U-238 intercepted in Tanzania was from the Lubumbashi mines in the DRC, said the report, adding that it was hidden in a consignment of coltan, a rare element mineral.

Earlier on Sunday, Larijani said that Iran would continue its nuclear program regardless of a UN resolution asking Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities by Aug. 31.

"They must understand the resolution can not affect our decision, we reject it and will pursue the nuclear rights of Iranian people," Larijani told reporters.

Larijani also termed the resolution as "contrary" to a previous six-nation package offered in June, while reiterating that Iran would give a formal response by Aug. 22.

The UN Security Council on July 31 adopted a resolution by a vote of 14 to 1, urging Tehran to "suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development" by Aug. 31 or face the prospect of sanctions.

(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2006)


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