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Iran: President Vows Continuation Of Nuclear Program

Tehran, 6 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian President Mohammad Khatami says the country will not surrender its nuclear power-generating program. Khatami today told a gathering of senior Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Iran will not give up "nuclear technology as a basis for legitimate power."

Khatami said Iran has no desire for nuclear weapons because its "Islamic and moral teaching" prevents the Islamic Republic from using such weapons.

Khatami's remarks came as a three-member legal team from the International Atomic Energy Agency met with government officials to discuss the possibilities for unrestricted inspection of Iran's nuclear facilities.

The United States has accused Iran of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Two days ago, the "Los Angeles Times" newspaper said that Iran "appears to be in the late stages of developing capacity to build a nuclear bomb." Iran has persistently denied running a clandestine nuclear-weapons program.