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Iran says will enrich uranium if no deal in Vienna

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran will further enrich uranium itself if nuclear talks fail with the U.N. watchdog, Russia, France and the United States in Vienna on Monday, an Iranian official said.

“If the talks do not bring about Iran’s desired result ... we will start to further enrich uranium ourselves,” Ali Shirzadian, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told Iran’s official IRNA news agency a few hours before the talks start.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog will host the meeting to discuss details of sending Iran’s low enriched uranium abroad for further processing and return to Tehran.

The issue was agreed “in principle” between Iran and world powers in Geneva on October 1. But Iranian authorities have so far shown no public hints of flexibility over Iran’s nuclear row with the West.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran for refusing to stop its sensitive enrichment work.

Shirzadian said Iran had no intention of suspending its enrichment.

“Buying nuclear fuel from abroad does not mean Iran will stop its uranium enrichment activities inside the country,” Shirzadian said.

The West fears Iran’s nuclear program is a front to obtain a bomb. Iran says it needs nuclear technology to generate power.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Richard Williams

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