Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

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Iran's President Defiant Ahead of Nuclear Deadline


29 August 2006

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has voiced defiance - two days ahead of a United Nations deadline for Iran to stop sensitive nuclear activities.

Mr. Ahmadinejad told a Tehran news conference Tuesday, that no one can prevent Iran from having a peaceful nuclear program. He also proposed holding a live television debate with President Bush on global affairs.

Iran faces a U.N. Security Council deadline on Thursday to stop uranium enrichment, or face possible sanctions.

Monday, a U.S. State Department spokesman expressed disappointment that Iran apparently intends to defy the council and continue uranium enrichment.

The spokesman, Sean McCormack, said international consultations on a response are under way.

The West accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge.

Nearly three months ago, the United States and other world powers offered Iran a package of incentives if Tehran ends sensitive nuclear work and returns to negotiations on its standoff with the West.

Iran said last week it is prepared to have "serious talks" on the issue but will not give up what it calls its sovereign right to pursue nuclear technology.

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



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