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Iran President Promises 'Innovations' To Solve Nuclear Row

"I have some innovations concerning the fuel cycle which are being finalised by the experts and the details will be known," he said, but did not elaborate.

Tehran (AFP) Aug 24, 2005
Iran wants negotiations over its nuclear programme to continue and is finalising "innovations" to resolve the dispute, the Islamic republic's new hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday.

However he told reporters that Iran would also defend its "lawful rights" in the nuclear domain - a reference to the country's demand to hold on to sensitive atomic energy fuel cycle technology that the West fears could be diverted to weapons use.

"Our policy is transparent and clear: we are after the nation's lawful rights within the framework of international law and we will defend these rights seriously," he said on the sidelines of a parliamentary confidence vote on his proposed cabinet.

But he added that "we want the negotiations to continue", even though talks with Britain, France and Germany have broken off due to Iran's decision to partially end its suspension of uranium enrichment-related work.

"I have some innovations concerning the fuel cycle which are being finalised by the experts and the details will be known," he said, but did not elaborate.

At the end of July, the EU-3 formally asked Iran to abandon uranium enrichment-related work in exchange for a package of trade incentives, access to nuclear fuel produced overseas and help with Tehran's regional security concerns.

Iran reacted by resuming uranium conversion work at a facility at Isfahan on August 8, but has so far held off on enrichment.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), called on Iran earlier this month to return to a full suspension of nuclear fuel activities.

The IAEA is due to report on the crisis September 3, and a refusal by the Islamic republic to comply could lead to Iran's referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

The United States is "working hard behind the scenes" for Iran to be referred to the Security Council, said a Western diplomat in Vienna where the IAEA is based.

But several IAEA board members were reluctant since Iran had not been found in non-compliance with nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards requirements.

Tehran has also been emboldened by reports that both UN and US experts have found no evidence that Iran was secretly enriching uranium.

The IAEA has determined that traces of bomb-grade uranium found at several sites over the past two years in Iran came from contaminated Pakistani equipment and were not evidence of nuclear weapons work, diplomats said.

"It was not Iran that violated the Paris Agreement," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told the state news agency IRNA, referring to the November 2004 deal under which Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear fuel cycle activities.

"The Europeans are to blame for unilaterally interpreting and violating the Paris Agreement," Asefi said, repeating Iran's contention that it has the right under the NPT to produce its own nuclear fuel.

"The Europeans ignored Iran's rights," Asefi said, the day after the EU-3 cancelled talks scheduled for next week.

Meanwhile a new Iranian militia group calling itself the "Martyrdom Lovers" is preparing to stage its first manoeuvres aimed at defending nuclear sites from a US attack, a hardline paper said.

The commander of the suicide group, Mohammad Reza Jaffari, told the Parto Sokhan (Light of Speech) weekly that the forthcoming exercise was codenamed "Yes to Khamenei", in dedication to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"This will be the first manoeuvres of the martyrdom-seeking brigades," he said, adding the volunteers will "work on new tactics of how to defend the sensitive and strategic areas and how to destroy the hypothetical enemy by implementing a human shield."

The United States "should know that each martyrdom-seeker is an atomic bomb," he told the paper, which had earlier this month carried an advertisement seeking people to join the group.

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Outside View: NY Awaits Iranian President
Moscow (UPI) Aug 24, 2005
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new Iranian president, is expected to make his diplomatic debut at the U.N. General Assembly in New York in September.







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