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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran's president says West backing down over nuclear program

RIA Novosti

13/08/2008 17:02 TEHRAN, August 13 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has come out on top with the West over its controversial nuclear program, the Islamic Republic's president told local media on Wednesday.

"Several years ago, the West demanded that Iran completely stop its uranium enrichment research projects. Today, instead of 20, there are several thousand centrifuges in our country, and now they [the West] have climbed down and only want us to freeze the installation of new centrifuges in the next few months," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted in local media.

The Iranian leader said that Western threats and propaganda over Iran's nuclear program were just a pretext for political pressure against Tehran.

The president said on Monday that the United States has come to the realization that Iran's nuclear program cannot be stopped and there is no alternative but to conduct dialogue.

The so called Iran Six negotiating countries - China, Russia, the U.S., France, Britain and Germany - have agreed, however, to consider a fourth set of sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

At talks with Iran in Geneva on July 19, the six nations put forward a package of trade and nuclear technology incentives, demanding a response from Tehran within two weeks.

The answer took two and a half weeks to arrive, and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the letter did not contain a clear response to the proposals.

Iran has repeatedly dismissed Western accusations that it is seeking to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. The Islamic Republic has also consistently insisted on its right to peaceful nuclear research.



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