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. Iran reiterates pledge to shun nuclear weapons programs
PARIS (AFP) Oct 15, 2004
Iran reiterated a pledge here Friday to restrict its nuclear development programs to non-military objectives.

"We have a very great need for civilian nuclear energy for our economic development and we are in no way seeking the part of that industry that could have a military objective," Iranian Finance and Economy Minister Sadfar Hosseini said here.

Hosseini, speaking to AFP after conferring Thursday with French Finance Minister Nicholas Sarkozy, also said he had called for stepped-up economic cooperation between France and Iran in a number of areas.

"Mr. Sarkozy very favorably received these proposals for strengthened economic cooperation and they are now being considered by the French party and we are anxiously awaiting initiatives from the French side," he said.

Sarkozy's office on Thursday said the minister -- in his meeting with Hosseini -- had explained that France can go no further in its exchanges with Iran "until the Iranian government shows signs of nuclear transparency."

The International Atomic Energy Agency has given Iran until November 25 to alleviate fears that it is secretly developing a nuclear bomb and has called for the suspension of all its enriched uranium activities.

"We are ready to work within the framework of the Tehran accord" to ease international concerns, Hosseini said Friday.

"This is the solution that will enable us to preserve our legitimate right and to create international confidence."

Under terms of the accord, signed late last year with Germany, France and Britain, Iran pledged to suspend its enriched uranium activities and to accept unannounced inspections of its nuclear facilities.

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