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IAEA To Discuss Iran's Refusal To Give Up Nuclear Work

18 September 2005 -- The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency is preparing to hold talks tomorrow on Iran's stated determination to continue its nuclear fuel work, despite strong objections from the West.

The United States, Britain, France, and Germany will likely urge the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to bring Tehran before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

The meeting follows a speech before the UN General Assembly by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Speaking yesterday, he defended Iran's right to nuclear development, including what he called "peaceful" uranium-enrichment work.

The Iranian leader's speech drew sharp criticism from Western officials, including British Foreign Minister Jack Straw. Straw today told the BBC that Ahmadinejad's remarks were "disappointing and unhelpful."

The West fears Iran could use its nuclear program to pursue weapons of mass destruction. Tehran denies pursuing a weapons program.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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