11/21/2005, 00.00
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Parliament calls on government not to buckle under uranium pressure

A bill – soon to become law – calls on Tehran not to allow "invasive" inspections by the United Nations nuclear agency any longer.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Iranian Parliament yesterday approved a bill which calls on the government to obstruct inspections defined as "intrusive" on nuclear facilities by the United Nations nuclear agency.

Out of 197 MPs present, 183 voted in favour of the bill: the parliamentary session was broadcast live on state radio.

The vote comes four days before the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. When the bill becomes law, it will serve to boost government resistance of international pressure, which would have Iran abandon its uranium-enriched energy programme. The process could be used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors or atomic bombs.

The United States has accused Iran of wanting to produce nuclear arms; Tehran says the programme is used to generate electricity.

The bill must go before the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog, for ratification: experts say the Council is "already ready" to ratify the bill.

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