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. Former Iran president expects little of EU in nuclear debate
TEHRAN (AFP) Sep 13, 2004
Iran's powerful former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Monday he was expecting little of the European Union in his country's standoff with the United States over allegations of covert nuclear weapons development.

"We can't place much confidence in the Europeans even if they are more intelligent than the Americans," Rafsanjani told the student news agency ISNA.

Britain, France and Germany sumitted a draft resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna Monday proposing a November deadline for Iran to allay US and Israeli suspicions about its nuclear programme.

The three European governments had been instrumental in obtaining a series of concessions from Iran last year that headed off a previous US-led push for Security Council enforcement action.

Rafsanjani, who retains enormous influence as head of the Expediency Council, Iran's final arbiter on legislation, insisted Tehran would press ahead with its nuclear programme whatever the UN watchdog decided.

"We will continue on our present course and will not renounce out rights" under both the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its additional protocol to acquire nuclear technology for civil purposes, he said.

"It is clear that our goal is the peaceful use of atomic energy ... We are trying to convince other countries of that so that they do not make ill-founded assessments of us."

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