Iran says no atomic retreat, ahead of talks
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 19:09
  
Tehran: Iran "will not retreat an iota" from its nuclear rights, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday, ahead of weekend talks in Istanbul with world powers over Tehran's atomic activities.

"The Iranian nation is standing firm on its fundamental rights and under the harshest pressure will not retreat an iota from its undeniable right," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the southern town of Minab, according to the official IRNA news agency.

"On behalf of the Iranian nation, I advise the enemies and the arrogance (the United States) to change their behaviour towards our nation, and they should know that the Iranians are standing firm in defending their rights," he said.

His language indicated a defiant attitude by Iran as its negotiators go into the Istanbul talks on Saturday across from representatives of the so-called P5+1 group comprising the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.

It will be the first negotiations since talks broke off in a failed round in January 2011 that was also held in Istanbul.

Tehran's stated aim in the upcoming talks is to have the world recognise its rights to peaceful nuclear energy -- including the contentious issue of enriching uranium, which, when purified to high levels, can be used to make an atomic bomb.

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons.

But most of the West is unconvinced, and is piling on economic sanctions to get Tehran to agree to more invasive inspections and a cap on uranium enrichment to prevent any nuclear military activities.

If fully implemented, the sanctions could cut Iran's oil production by more than a third by the middle of 2012 should other customers not step forward, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report released today.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 19:09


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