Iran to review ties with countries over IAEA vote

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran’s parliament will review the Islamic republic’s relations with countries that voted against its nuclear activities at the International Atomic Energy Agency last week, the speaker said on Thursday.

“Iran had proper cooperation with the agency’s board of governors, but the recent resolution calls for careful studies on the vote in parliament’s national security committee,” Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.

“Parliament will review Iran’s relations with those countries that voted for the recent resolution against us.”

The IAEA board angered Iran last week by censuring it for covertly building a second uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom, in addition to its main IAEA-monitored one at Natanz, and calling for a halt to construction.

The resolution passed by a 25-3 margin with six abstentions, smoothed by rare backing from Russia and China, which have blocked global attempts to isolate Iran, a trade partner for both, in the past.

“The West’s claim that Iran seeks nuclear weapon is a big lie ... Iranian nation stays firm on its chosen path,” state broadcaster IRIB quoted Larajani as saying.

The United States and its allies fear Iran’s nuclear energy program could allow the leading OPEC producer to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran says it has no such intention.

Iran said on Sunday it would build 10 more uranium enrichment sites in retaliation for the IAEA vote. [ID:nHAF247393] On Tuesday a foreign ministry spokesman had said Iran would take unspecified legal action over the IAEA vote.

Iran has resisted a deal with Western powers that would see its low-enriched uranium sent abroad for processing into uranium for making fuel.

Western countries are brandishing the threat of more U.N. sanctions on Iran which could target its imports of gasoline.