November 18, 2011 / 5:18 PM / 8 years ago

IAEA move only strengthens Iran determination: envoy

VIENNA (Reuters) - A U.N. atomic agency board resolution voicing growing concern about Iran’s nuclear work will only strengthen Tehran’s determination to press on with its disputed activities, a senior Iranian official said on Friday.

“The only immediate effect is a further strengthening of determination of the Iranian nation to continue its nuclear activities for peaceful purposes without any compromise,” said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“We will not suspend our enrichment activities and our work for even a second,” he told reporters, making clear his country would not back down in the dispute with major powers.

He was speaking after the 35-nation IAEA board adopted a resolution voicing “increasing concern” about Iran’s nuclear program, keeping up pressure on Tehran after an IAEA report said it appeared to have worked on designing an atom bomb.

He also cast doubt on whether the IAEA could send a high-level mission to Iran to address concerns about its nuclear program. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on Thursday he had proposed the trip and was awaiting Iran’s response.

“The mission cannot go now to Iran. But when and how, it should be thoroughly studied. Because now in fact everything is messed up by the Director General’s decision,” Soltanieh said, referring to the IAEA’s report.

Last week’s report presented intelligence indicating Iran has undertaken research and experiments geared to developing a nuclear weapons capability. It has stoked tensions in the Middle East and redoubled calls in Western capitals for stiffer sanctions against Tehran.

Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Sylvia Westall; editing by Matthew Jones

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