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. Iran says not afraid of war, sanctions
TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 31, 2005
Iran is unfazed by the threat of war or sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme and mounting international pressure has only hardened its resolve, a senior official said Monday.

"They must understand that such an attitude will only persuade us more to have nuclear technology," said top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, responding to widespread condemnation of comments by President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad.

Iran has been bombarded with complaints after Ahmadinejad last week called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" -- comments that increased concerns over the country's bid to master nuclear fuel technology.

"There won't be a war. They do not have the means to go to war on two fronts," Larijani was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA in a reference to the continued hostilities faced by US-led forces in neighbouring Iraq.

"Iran is a hard target," insisted Larijani, who was addressing a seminar on nuclear energy.

"If they think they can limit us by oil sanctions or other sanctions, they are wrong. Oil sanctions will only increase the price of oil," he added.

Iran says it only wants to develop nuclear power for electricity generation, but the United States and European Union fear Iran is using the fuel cycle as a means to acquire an atomic bomb. They are pushing for the matter to be referred to the UN Security Council.

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