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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran insists on peaceful nature of nuclear program

RIA Novosti

18:43 14/09/2009 VIENNA, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's top nuclear official reiterated on Monday that the country's nuclear program has no military aspects, and that Tehran is ready to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the outgoing director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reiterated earlier on Monday his call on Tehran to clarify all outstanding issues in the dispute over its nuclear program, and to implement the provisions of the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"We decided from the very start that our atomic energy program would be peaceful," Ali Akbar Salehi said at the IAEA's general conference in Vienna.

He also said Iran was planning to build 5GW of nuclear generating capacity over the next decade.

Iran has consistently refused international demands to halt its uranium enrichment, which several Western countries suspect is being used as a cover for a weapons program.

On October 1, Iran will make an attempt to ease tensions over its nuclear program at talks with six world powers, the first such meeting in over a year.

Western powers have called harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic if it refuses to halt uranium enrichment. Russia and China, however, insist on diplomatic steps.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Ekho Moskvy radio on Thursday that a new proposal put forward by Tehran to the 'Iran Six' negotiating countries earlier this month included worthwhile elements and could be worked with.


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