Thu, Nov 16, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Iran vows to resist nuclear program pressure

AFP , TEHRAN

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed yesterday that Iran would "resist to the end" on its nuclear program, after sparking fresh Western concern by revealing plans to massively ramp up sensitive atomic work.

"The Iranian people will resist to the end to defend their nuclear right," Ahmadinejad told thousands of supporters in a speech in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran's Kurdestan Province, broadcast live on state television.

"Thanks to God, time is on Iran's side and with every passing day they [the great powers] are having to take a step backwards and recognize Iran's right while the Iranian people take a step forward to the summit of technology."

Ahmadinejad on Tuesday said Iran was ultimately aiming to install 60,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium to make nuclear fuel on an industrial scale, which the US said would be enough to make a nuclear weapon.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and that it has every right to the full nuclear fuel cycle, rejecting US accusations that its civilian energy drive masks a program to make a nuclear bomb.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack described those remarks -- to a news conference on Tuesday -- as a "cold jolt" adding that "what that leads to is an Iranian nuclear weapon."

The latest report by the UN nuclear watchdog on Tuesday said Iran must clear up ambiguities as "a prerequisite for the agency to be able to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."

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