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. Ahmadinejad says uranium enrichment 'non-negotiable': report
TOKYO, April 4 (AFP) Apr 04, 2008
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview published Friday that he would reject any new incentives offered by world powers in return for suspending uranium enrichment.

"This is a non-negotiable subject," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling Japan's Kyodo News when asked about possible incentives carrying conditions that Iran suspend its enrichment activities.

"Iran is a nuclear country and has no reason to give up the technology. If there are to be any preconditions, we must propose preconditions," he said.

The Security Council last month tightened UN sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt nuclear fuel work as six major powers offered to resume talks with the Islamic republic to end the standoff.

The five permanent UN Security Council powers plus Germany reconfirmed and pledged to expand a 2006 offer of economic and trade incentives to Iran in exchange for a freeze of its uranium enrichment activities.

But Iran last month ruled out further talks with the six.

Ahmadinejad told Kyodo that the suspension of its uranium enrichment programme was an issue related to the past as "we have passed this stage."

He again rejected any new talks with the European Union over Iran's nuclear programme, saying Tehran would negotiate only with the UN atomic agency.

The UN Security Council has repeatedly called on Iran to freeze uranium enrichment, which the West fears could be used to make nuclear weapons, but which Iran insists is only needed to make atomic fuel for power stations.

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