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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Iran dismisses Bush and Brown nuclear charges

Iran said on Sunday U.S. and British accusations that Tehran wanted a nuclear weapon were baseless and the Islamic state would not stop its peaceful atomic work.

U.S. President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was in Washington last week, pledged a united effort to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, possibly by expanding sanctions against Tehran.

"The stance voiced by the American president and British prime minister about Iran's nuclear activities is not compatible with the reality of any of (its) activities," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue with its peaceful activities," he told a news conference, adding that "no law prevents our country from continuing these peaceful activities".

Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, says it is seeking to master nuclear technology to generate electricity not bombs. But its failure to convince world powers about its intention has prompted three rounds of U.N. sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said this month Iran would soon unveil proposals aimed to help defuse the row but gave no details. Hosseini did not elaborate on those plans.

"Regarding the package, we will provide you with the comments and explanations at the appropriate time," he told reporters when asked about Mottaki's nuclear proposal package.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) top investigator, Olli Heinonen, arrives in Iran on Monday to press for answers to Western intelligence alleging Iran covertly studied how to design atomic bombs. Iran denies this.

Hosseini described Heinonen's trip as a "normal" visit.

(Source: Reuters)

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