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Ahmadinejad Again Defies 'Bullies'

May 5, 2006 -- President Mahmud Ahmadinejad told a regional summit in Baku today that "bullies" will not change Iran's resolve to pursue its nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad said Iran would continue its nuclear program until it was able to produce on an industrial scale nuclear fuel for its atomic power plants.

Ahmadinejad's latest words of defiance came at a summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization, a regional grouping that brings together Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, and the five Central Asian states as well as Iran.

At a press conference afterward, the summit's host, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, said Iran's nuclear program had not been discussed at the summit. However, he said the issue should be resolved according to international law, adding that "if international law and regulations of international organizations provides the opportunity for a country to obtain nuclear energy, then there should not be any contradiction [in] this respect."

Cross-border trade, transport infrastructure projects, and regional security were high on the agenda of the summit itself.


Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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