The proposal, backed by 247 of parliament's 290 lawmakers ... Reuters
TEHRAN - To cries of "Death to America" and "God is Greatest" Iran's hardline-dominated parliament passed a bill on Sunday obliging the government to continue efforts to develop a civilian nuclear energy program.
The proposal, backed by 247 of parliament's 290 lawmakers, did not specifically force the government to resume uranium enrichment or end snap U.N. inspections of atomic facilities as some lawmakers had called for.
But the outline bill approved on Sunday could incorporate such suggestions during subsequent discussions, lawmakers said in a session broadcast live on state radio.
"This is the voice of parliament, the voice of the Iranian nation," Parliament Speaker Gholamali Haddadadel said after the bill was approved.
"The message of this bill is that we will not give in to pressure ... The Iranian nation is determined to use peaceful nuclear technology," he said.
The European Union has called on Iran to freeze uranium enrichment -- a process that can be used for nuclear power or to make atomic bombs -- before the next meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Nov. 25.
Failure to do so could see Iran's case referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.
Iran denies U.S. charges it is secretly building nuclear weapons and says it will press ahead with all aspects of its nuclear program in order to generate electricity from atomic reactors to meet booming demand.