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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Iran's Supreme Leader: Tehran Will Press Ahead With Nuclear Program

VOA News 11 October 2006: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed that Tehran will press ahead with its controversial nuclear program. "Iran's policy is clear - to move forward with clear logic and insist on the nation's rights without retreat," Mr. Khamenei was quoted as saying on state television. Earlier Tuesday, Iran called on all nations to give up nuclear weapons after North Korea claimed Monday that it detonated its first nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department says diplomats from the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, plus Germany will hold a video conference call Wednesday to discuss possible sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.

A spokesman, Sean McCormack, says U.N. ambassadors from the six world powers will begin talks after Wednesday's meeting. Iran ignored an August 31 U.N. deadline to suspend its uranium enrichment program or face possible Security Council sanctions. Western nations allege Iran is working on a secret nuclear weapons program - a charge Tehran denies. On Tuesday, an Iranian government spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elham, urged Israel to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Israel has never declared itself a nuclear power but many experts believe it possesses atomic weapons. Israeli officials say they are concerned that North Korea's nuclear test will encourage Iran to speed up its nuclear weapons program. Officials say they also worry that North Korea may transfer atomic materials or technology to Tehran. Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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