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. Italy's Prodi opposed to military action against Iran
ROME, Nov 6 (AFP) Nov 06, 2007
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi Tuesday repeated Rome's opposition to any military action against Iran over its nuclear programme, saying Tehran had a right to use civilian nuclear energy.

"I would like to reiterate once again Italy's opposition to any military solution. Such a solution will not only not resolve the problem but also usher in new destabilising scenarios in the whole region," Prodi said at a banquet hosted for visiting Saudi King Abdullah.

Prodi said Iran had every right "to develop a peaceful nuclear programme."

Western powers accuse Iran of running a covert nuclear weapons programme, but Tehran insists it is solely interested in generating electricity.

Prodi and his Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema have both spoken out strongly in favour of negotiations with Tehran while not ruling out stepped-up sanctions.

Permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany, are backing a third UN Security Council resolution and vote on Iran, unless upcoming reports by the UN nuclear watchdog and the European Union show "a positive outcome."

But China and Russia, which could in theory veto further sanctions, have yet to call publicly for more punishment against the Islamic republic.

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