Iran 'won't retreat' from its nuclear path, Ahmadinejad says
MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian media quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying on Wednesday that his country would not retreat from its nuclear ambitions.
"The nation won't retreat one iota from the path it is going," Ahmadinejad said speaking to thousands of people in the city of Shahr-e-Kord in central Iran.
"Some bullying powers are armed with atomic bombs and they claim Iran is seeking such bombs. The Iranian nation does not fear you if it wants to make bomb, but it does not need a bomb," the ISNA news agency quoted the president as saying.
A new International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran's nuclear program will be released later on Wednesday. Its details, some of which have been leaked, have prompted speculation over a possible military strike on Iran by Israel.
"Why do you exploit the IAEA dignity in favor of the U.S. administration?" Ahmadinejad asked.
According to the IAEA report, Iran continued nuclear weapons research and technology development after 2003, at a time when it declared a halt to its nuclear program. The report said that Iran had temporarily frozen nuclear activities, but that there was evidence the program continued at a more modest pace.
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the report, expressing dismay that the IAEA report "transformed into a new source of growing tensions surrounding the Iranian nuclear program."
"Even before being officially delivered to IAEA member states in Vienna, the report became a source of assumptions, rumors and political speculations, which, of course, is no compliment to those engaged in fueling the present information boom," the statement reads.
Russian diplomats also dismissed rumors about a Russian scientist's key role in the controversial Iranian nuclear program as made by "incompetent commentators," who pursued political goals "which have nothing to do with easing concerns over the Iranian nuclear program."
The ministry said it had "grave doubts" that there were grounds to disclose the report, mainly because "certain chances to resume the dialog [among the] six international mediators with Tehran have just appeared."
The ministry said it would comment on the report after the council of IAEA managing directors studies it.
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