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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iranian Official: Tehran Ready to Hold Talks on Nuclear Program

27 August 2006

Iran's top nuclear negotiator has reiterated Tehran is ready to hold talks on its controversial nuclear program, while stressing Iran's determination to produce nuclear fuel.

State media quoted Ali Larijani as saying Iranian officials are prepared to meet - anytime, anyplace - with foreign ministers from the U.S., France, Britain, Russia, China - the five permanent U.N. Security Council members - and Germany.

The U.N. Security Council has called on Iran to stop enriching uranium by Thursday, August 31, or face possible sanctions.

Larijani also said any action taken to deprive Iran of its rights to produce nuclear fuel will not deter the country from pursuing its nuclear goals.

He spoke Sunday as Iran announced it test-fired a long-range, radar-evading missile in the Persian Gulf as part of a military exercise that began more than a week ago.

An Iranian Navy commander told state-run television the missile was fired from a submarine and successfully hit its target on the surface. Iran held other war games earlier this year.

The United States and other Western nations accuse Tehran of secretly trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for generating electricity.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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