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. Influential ex-Iran president shrugs off G8 threat
TEHRAN, June 9 (AFP) Jun 09, 2007
Iran's influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Saturday shrugged off the Group of Eight powers threat to take new measures against Tehran if it continues to ignore UN demands to halt uranium enrichment, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"Once again we are witnessing that a number of industrial nations gather and demand that Iran should give up its nuclear program. They have threatened that if we do not give it up we should anticipate new sanctions," Rafsanjani said.

"This is not the first time that these nations have showed hostility towards us. Nonetheless, step by step we have come forward and now with wisdom and alertness we can cross this hard phase," he added.

In a communique issued on Friday at the end of their annual summit, the G8 nations said: "We deplore the fact that Iran has so far failed to meet its obligations" under UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear programme.

It said it "will support adopting further measures, should Iran refuse to comply with its obligations."

The G8 consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Iran has infuriated the West by refusing to suspend enrichment, a process Europe and the United States fear could be used to make nuclear weapons. Western countries are now openly calling for more UN sanctions against Tehran.

The Security Council has already imposed two sets of sanctions over the past half year targeting Iran's ballistics and nuclear industries.

Tehran maintains that it has the right to enrich uranium in accordance to the UN atomic watchdog regulation. Iran, an oil rich nation, emphasises that it wants nuclear energy to produce electricity for it ever growing population.

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