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. New Iran president appeals for end to WMDs
TEHRAN (AFP) Aug 03, 2005
Iran's new President Mahmood Ahmadinejad, whose country is suspected by the West of seeking nuclear arms, appealed Wednesday for an end to weapons of mass destruction in the world.

But after formally endorsing Ahmadinejad as president, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the new government not give up "the rights of the nation."

"Iranian leaders have no right to give up the nation's economic and political rights. These rights must be defended," Khamenei said in a speech punctuated by cries of "Death to America, Death to Israel" from regime officials at the ceremony.

The European Union and United States on Tuesday issued sharp warnings to Tehran over its threats to resume some sensitive nuclear fuel work, risking an international crisis.

Ahmadinejad, who took office after a shock June election win, said: "I will plead for the suppression of all weapons of mass destruction.

"Iran wants to see the establishment of last peace and justice," he said. "I will work for international justice because the world is starved of justice."

The hardline former Tehran mayor also said his goverment would work for justice, devotion to Islam, and for the prosperity of the people of Iran.

"As servant of the Iranian nation, I want to defend its independence, our national interests and the religion of Islam. I want to defend the interests of citizens both inside and outside the country.

"I wish to extend justice, to be good to all God's subjects, to serve the people of Iran, to offer them progress and financial prosperity."

He pledged to pay "special attention to the disadvantaged," in a speech that also paid homage to the founder of the Islamic republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny, to the "martyrs of the revolution" and veterans of the war with Iraq.

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