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. Iran's Rafsanjani calls giving up nuclear rights 'shameful'
TEHRAN (AFP) Jul 22, 2005
Iran's former influential president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Friday that it would be "shameful" for Tehran to give up its right to peaceful nuclear technology.

"The monopolistic powers want to deprive us of our legitimate right but with wisdom and suitable actions we will not allow them," Rafsanjani said in a Friday sermon broadcast on state radio.

"Future generations would consider it shameful that their country was deprived (of nuclear technology)."

Iran has said it may resume sensitive uranium enrichment activities, a key part of the nuclear fuel cycle, if it is not happy with the result of negotiations with the European Union on its nuclear programme.

The European Union is seeking to engage the Islamic state, offering trade and other benefits to persuade it to curb its nuclear plans, and promised detailed proposals for technological, commercial and political cooperation by August.

Tehran insists its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes but the United States suspects it is seeking to build an atomic bomb.

On Thursday, Iran said talks with Europeans in London on Wednesday aimed at guaranteeing that the Islamic republic does not produce nuclear weapons were "constructive."

French President Jacques Chirac warned Iran that the UN Security Council will have to become involved if agreement cannot be reached on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"I hope that they will end favorably and eliminate the danger of proliferation," Chirac told the Israeli daily Haaretz. "If that is not the case then it will naturally fall to the Security Council to consider the question."

Asked about the possibility of a military strike against Iran, Chirac replied: "Military attacks are not a solution to this kind of problem.

Germany, France and Britain pledged to come up with a new proposal for cooperation with Iran by the end of July or beginning of August.

On Thursday Iran's hardline president-elect, Mahmood Ahmadinejad said that Iran has remained faithful to its international obligations in the nuclear realm but will not be deprived of its rights.

"Just as we hate weapons of mass destruction, we hate that some want to deprive other people from the right to peacefully use nuclear energy," Ahmadinejad said.

All rights reserved. 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

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