April 17, 2006

Iran to continue enriching uranium: Rafsanjani

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Iran will continue to enrich uranium,
influential former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
said on Monday, as concerns grow over possible U.S. military
action against Tehran's nuclear program.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran does not intend to stop," he
said when asked about Iran's success at enriching uranium.

"The Islamic Republic wants to continue along its path," he
told reporters in Kuwait during a visit to the Gulf state.

Last week, Iran announced it had enriched uranium for use
in its power stations, stoking a diplomatic row with the West
which suspects Tehran is trying to build an atomic bomb. Iran
says it is seeking nuclear power to generate electricity.

Rafsanjani, who was speaking through an interpreter, said
Iran's neighbors had nothing to fear from its nuclear program
which he said was bound by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
and supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"This is a comprehensive treaty and the paths toward any
breaches are blocked," he said.