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Ahmadinejad Urges U.S., Russia To Back Nuclear Fuel Swap


Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (file photo)

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (file photo)

Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has urged the United States to back a nuclear fuel-swap deal, warning it would be the last chance to resolve the atomic standoff.

In a televised speech, Ahmadinejad warned U.S. President Barack Obama that Iranians are "unlikely to give him a new chance" if he "does not use this opportunity."

Ahmadinejad also called on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to rethink his support for Washington's stance, saying Russian support for a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran was "unacceptable."

"We shouldn't see, at sensitive times, our neighbor [Russia] supporting those who have been against us, those who have shown animosity to us for 30 years," Reuters quoted him as saying. "This is not acceptable for the Iranian nation. I hope they will pay attention and take corrective action."

Top Kremlin foreign policy adviser Sergei Prikhodko responded to Ahmadinejad's criticism by saying Russia is opposed to political extremism and added that "no one has ever managed to retain their authority through political demagoguery."

Western governments have dismissed the swap deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey earlier this month, which would send Iran's low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel rods.

The swap deal fails to address concerns that Tehran is trying to build nuclear weapons because Iran would continue to enrich uranium at higher levels.

compiled from agency reports
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