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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran's president says uranium enrichment program non-negotiable

RIA Novosti

04/04/2008 14:05 TEHRAN, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Iran rejects any new incentives offered by world powers in return for suspending its nuclear enrichment program, the Islamic Republic's president said in an interview published on Friday.

"This [enrichment moratorium] is a non-negotiable subject," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

"Iran is a nuclear country and has no reason to give up the technology," he said.

The president also reiterated that Iran does not intend to negotiate with the West, but will cooperate solely with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on March 3, imposing a third round of economic sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

Under the new sanctions, the accounts of certain Iranian companies and banks will be frozen, and goods leaving and entering the Islamic Republic will be subjected to inspections. In addition, travel bans have been imposed on five Iranian officials involved in nuclear projects.

The diplomatic standoff between Iran and the West, which at times has threatened to take on a military nature, began almost six years ago over suspicions that Tehran was secretly developing atomic weapons. Tehran has always maintained that it needs nuclear technology for electricity generation only. Two previous rounds of UN sanctions were imposed on Tehran in December 2006 and March 2007.

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