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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran refuses to give in on nuclear program - president

RIA Novosti

14/03/2007 13:13 TEHRAN, March 14 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will not make concessions in the standoff over its nuclear program, the country's president said as discussions continue in the UN Security Council on further sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Since Iran resumed uranium enrichment in January 2006, the country has been the focus of international concerns, as some Western countries, particularly the United States, suspect Tehran is pursuing a covert weapons program. But Tehran has consistently claimed it needs nuclear development for civilian power generation.

"Iran will continue developing peaceful nuclear technologies and will not give up its right even partially," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution with sanctions against Iran in December banning activities involving uranium enrichment, chemical reprocessing, heavy water-based projects, and the production of nuclear weapons delivery systems.

Following last month's report by Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, that Iran had ignored a UN Security Council demand to halt its uranium enrichment program and was seeking to expand it, the Council has considered toughening sanctions against Tehran.

They could include a travel ban, freezing companies' and individuals' assets, an arms embargo and trade restrictions.

The president said his country's enemies feared that Iran could become an example to follow by other states.

"Give up your inhuman behavior and stop thinking about violating other nations' rights," he said addressing Iran's critics, which he said opposed the progress of the Iranian nation.

"You are mistaken if you think you can force Iran to abandon its right to civilian nuclear energy by using the international organizations you have established, by adopting UN Security Council resolutions," Ahmadinejad said.

The IAEA Board of Governors voted last week to shut down or freeze 23 of 55 technical assistance projects with the Islamic Republic.

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