Iran says it may resume uranium enrichment any time

AP: Iran may resume uranium enrichment "any moment," Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi said on state television Monday. "We suspended (enrichment) voluntarily and we may continue it voluntarily," Yunesi said. "And we may resume (enrichment) any moment."
The International Atomic Energy Agency demanded on Saturday that Iran halt all uranium enrichment activity ... Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran may resume uranium enrichment "any moment," Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi said on state television Monday.

"We suspended (enrichment) voluntarily and we may continue it voluntarily," Yunesi said. "And we may resume (enrichment) any moment."

The International Atomic Energy Agency demanded on Saturday that Iran halt all uranium enrichment activity, including the production and testing of centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

The agency said it would assess Iran's compliance in two months.

Yunesi reiterated that Iran rejected the thrust of the motion adopted by the U.N. nuclear agency on Saturday.

"The resolution is illegal," he said. "The Islamic Republic of Iran ... will ignore the provisions of the resolution because it is beyond the responsibilities of the IAEA."

On Sunday, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, also said the IAEA's demand for a halt to enrichment was "illegal," but he stopped short of outright rejection of the U.N. agency's resolution and held out the possibility of negotiations on the issue.

"We are committed to the suspension of actual enrichment, but we have no decision to expand the suspension," Rowhani said.

"No resolution can impose an obligation on Iran to suspend activities. If there is a way, it will be the way of dialogue," Rowhani said.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to build nuclear weapons under cover of a peaceful nuclear program. Iran says its program is only for generating electricity.

In its resolution Saturday, the IAEA board of directors unanimously said it "considers it necessary" that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment and related programs. It expressed alarm at Iranian plans to convert more than 40 tons of raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride _ the gas that turns into enriched unranium when spun in centrifuges.

It called on the IAEA chief to provide a review of the investigation into Iran's nuclear activities by November when the board "will decide whether or not further steps are appropriate" to ensure that Iran complies. The phrase suggested that Iran could have to answer to the Security Council if it defies the demands.

The United States wants the IAEA board to refer Iran to the Security Council when it meets again on Nov. 25 if Iran has not fully complied by then.