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. Ahmadinejad wants to attend UN Security Council meet
TEHRAN, March 11 (AFP) Mar 11, 2007
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to defend Iran's position in person when the UN Security Council meets to discuss the controversial Iranian nuclear programme, state television reported on Sunday.

"The president wants to be present at the meeting of the Security Council examining the Iranian nuclear question to defend the right of the Iranian people to master nuclear technology," it quoted government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham as saying.

"The aim of President Ahmadinejad is to defend the national and international interests of the Iranian people," he added.

The report did not sepcify what session and when Ahmadinejad was seeking to attend.

The five UN Security Council permanent members and Germany are currently discussing a draft resolution to tighten sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear fuel work.

The council in December agreed a first set of measures penalising Iran for its refusal to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment activities, its first ever sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Ahmadinejad has addressed the UN General Assembly in New York twice since becoming president in 2005 although he has never been present at a Security Council meeting.

The United States on both occasions reluctantly granted him a visa to travel to New York under its obligations as the host country of the United Nations.

The hardline Iranian president last year offered to hold a televised debate with US President George W. Bush to discuss the international situation although the proposal was laughed off by the White House.

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