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. Iran has no need for nuclear weapons: Ahmadinejad
NEW YORK, Sept 23 (AFP) Sep 23, 2007
Iran has no need of nuclear weapons and is not on a path to war with the United States, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview with CBS television to be broadcast later Sunday.

Ahmadinejad, who is due to arrive in New York Sunday for the United Nations General Assembly, said Tehran's nuclear ambitions were open and being conducted in accordance with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

"You have to appreciate we don't need a nuclear bomb. We don't need that. What need do we have for a bomb?" the Iranian leader said in the interview, according to a transcript released by CBS television.

He added that there was no reason to think that the United States and Washington were on a collision course to war over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, which have been roundly condemned by the international community.

"It's wrong to think that Iran and the US are walking towards war. Who says so? Why should we go to war? There is no war in the offing."

"Our plan and program is very transparent. We are under the supervision of the agency. Everything is on the table. We have nothing to hide," he said, adding: "Our activities are very peaceful."

"The time of the bomb is passed," he added.

Iran's nuclear ambitions have been under international scrutiny and put Tehran under a raft of United Nations-backed sanctions, especially due to the Islamic regime's attitude towards Israel.

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map and called into question the scale of the Holocaust.

Iran earlier bluntly warned the United States against launching an attack, saying that US forces in the region were well within the reach of its missiles.

"Today, the United States must know that their 200,000 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are within the reach of Iran's fire," said Yahya Rahim Safavi, the top military adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"When the Americans were beyond our shores, they were not within our reach but today it is very easy for us to deal them blows," he said according to the Mehr news agency.

His comments came at the start of an annual defense week, which Iran marked on Saturday by showing off its military prowess at a parade in Tehran -- including a new longer-range missile that could reach Israel.

The Islamic republic's arch foes the United States and Israel have never ruled out military action against Iran, although US officials say they want to solve the current crisis diplomatically.

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