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. Belarus voices support for Iran nuclear program
MINSK, Sept 8 (AFP) Sep 08, 2006
Belarus supports Iran's development of a civil nuclear program, Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov said Thursday after talks with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki.

"Belarus thinks that Iran has every right on every kind of peaceful nuclear activity, in accordance with the non-proliferation regime. We have no grounds to doubt the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program," Martynov said.

Mottaki insisted that Iran's program was "exclusively peaceful and transparent," welcoming upcoming talks with the European Union on Iran's response to an offer on its nuclear program from the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.

Iran has refused to halt sensitive nuclear enrichment work as demanded in a Security Council resolution.

He also warned the United States and Britain "not to address Iran with their illegal offers and demands" pointing out that "the nuclear state that used nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki has no right to demand that other states have no nuclear technologies."

Iran has close relations with the impoverished former Soviet republic, shunned by the West for the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko.

Despite fierce Western criticism, Belarus has sold Russian-made conventional military equipment and spare parts to Iran.

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