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Ahmadinejad: Iran Will Not Return To Nuclear Freeze

30 October 2005 -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says Iran will not return to a full freeze of its disputed nuclear fuel activities, as demanded by Western powers.

Ahmadinejad told an audience of students today that the previous Iranian government had agreed to voluntarily suspend work on the nuclear fuel cycle in November 2004 as a "confidence-building" measure in the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.

He said the present government now recognises that was "wrong," and he accused the West of trying to deprive Iran of ability to complete the nuclear fuel cycle, a process which he described as 100 percent lawful. 

Iran recently announced it was restarting its work on uranium enrichment, a step which the United States and some of its allies say could lead to military applications. Ahmadinejad today again denied that Iran is trying secretly to develop nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, President Ahmadinejad today said his controversial call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" was nothing new.

Speaking to members of the Basij militia, the president said his remarks were only a reflection of Iran's Israel policy for the past 17 years.

Ahmadinejad said it would be "an unforgivable crime" for Islamic nations to recognize the Jewish state.


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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