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Iranian President Says Iran's Nuclear Program for Peaceful Purposes

  • VOA News

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denounced critics of his country's nuclear program, and reaffirmed that Iran's nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.

In a text of remarks to an Economic Cooperation meeting in Baku, the Iranian leader said Tehran would continue on the path to industrial production of nuclear fuel for its nuclear power stations.

He also said Iran is willing to put its nuclear program under the watch of the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, the I.A.E.A. reported last week that Iran has failed to comply with demands to stop uranium enrichment.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also said world powers trying to halt Iran's nuclear activities are bullies who are interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

Thursday in Washington, President Bush accused Iran of defying the world with its ambitions for nuclear weapons.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China) are holding talks for a second day today (Friday) on a draft resolution that calls on Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program.

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The resolution (introduced by Britain and France and strongly backed by Washington) does not threaten economic sanctions, but invokes a section of the U.N. charter (Chapter Seven) which can be used to authorize sanctions and military force as a last resort.

But two of the permanent members, China and Russia, have threatened to veto any resolution calling for sanctions or military threats against Iran.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the I.A.E.A. should be the only institution dealing with Iran. He said inspections have neither verified nor refuted that Tehran has the technology to create weapons of mass destruction.

The uranium enrichment process could be used for civilian or military purposes.
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