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Iran Votes to Resume Uranium
Enrichment Program

November 1, 2004

Tehran, Iran-- Iranian lawmakers unanimously voted to approve the outline of a bill requiring the government to resume uranium enrichment, a move likely to deepen an international dispute over Tehran's atomic activities.

Hossein Mousavian, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said that a compromise could still be reached with European negotiators to avert the risk of U.N. sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany have offered Iran a trade deal and peaceful nuclear technology-- including a light-water research reactor -- in return for assurances Iran would indefinitely stop enriching uranium . Uranium enriched to a low level can be used to produce nuclear fuel, but if enriched further it can be used to make nuclear weapons.

While lawmakers were discussing the bill, Mousavian ruled out an indefinite suspension of enrichment activities. But he suggested Iran would consider halting the building of more nuclear facilities, which it would need to produce enough fuel for additional power plants.