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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ahmadinejad calls IAEA report on Iran 'positive'

RIA Novosti

18/09/2008 15:17 TEHRAN, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that a recent IAEA report on Iran's nuclear activities reaffirmed the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran's state Press TV cited the president as saying that "the report had no negative points," apart from a mention of "alleged research" carried out by Iranian nuclear physicists "which has no legal basis and is beyond the jurisdiction of the UN nuclear watchdog."

However, the European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Thursday at a Paris meeting of EU foreign ministers that the IAEA report "isn't good for Iran," because it indicates that Iran has blocked efforts to investigate its nuclear program.

The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was released on Monday, said that Iran had not halted its uranium enrichment program and had increased the number of its uranium enrichment centrifuges from 3,300 to 3,820 and that work was under way to install another 2,000 at the Natanz enrichment plant.

France and the U.K. urged new UN sanctions against Iran following the IAEA report. The United States earlier issued a similar call for new sanctions against Tehran.

The Islamic Republic is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment, which it says it needs purely for electricity generation despite Western accusations that the program is geared toward weapon production.

The IAEA wants Iran to clarify the suspected links between uranium enrichment and tests of high explosives and missile technology allegedly being developed by Iranian scientists by granting access to sites, documents and the relevant officials.

Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran's contention on Thursday that the Islamic Republic has fully cooperated with the IAEA and has clearly proven the peaceful nature of its nuclear research.

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