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Ahmadinejad Tells Rally Iran Will Continue Nuclear Work

January 2, 2007 -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has renewed Iran's pledge to continue developing its nuclear program despite limited UN sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to halt sensitive nuclear activities.

The 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on December 23 that bans the sale of materials that might contribute to nuclear or ballistic work in Iran, as well as freezing the assets of certain companies and individuals.

In a televised speech today, Ahmadinejad called the resolution "invalid."

"The Iranian nation is wise and will stick to its nuclear work and is ready to defend it completely," Ahmadinejad told a rally in the southern city of Ahvaz. "The UN resolution against Iran's atomic work has no validity for Iranians."

Iran has repeatedly rejected the resolution and threatened to limit its cooperation with the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA has sharply criticized Tehran over a lack of disclosure and years of obfuscation with regard to its nuclear activities, and was responsible for reporting the Iranian nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council.

Moscow and Beijing reportedly softened the resolution to exclude some measures that were being sought by Washington, which has long accused Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Iranian officials have consistently rejected that allegation, and insist their atomic efforts are purely peaceful.


Copyright (c) 2007. 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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