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Iran Says Nuclear Technology Program To Go Ahead

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki: "Legal and obvious"

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki: "Legal and obvious"

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran will never abandon its "legal and obvious" right to nuclear technology, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has said.

"The meetings with world powers and their behavior shows that Iran's right to have peaceful nuclear technology has been accepted by them...Iran will never abandon its legal and obvious right," Mottaki told a news conference.

Talks between Iran and world powers on a deal to allay concerns about Tehran's nuclear program started on October 19 in Vienna and were resuming on October 20. The UN atomic agency chief said the talks started well.

The meeting hosted by the IAEA offered the first chance to build on proposals raised at Geneva talks on October 1 to defuse a standoff over suspicions Iran's uranium enrichment program is covertly intended to develop nuclear weapons.

Mottaki praised the talks. Iran agreed in Geneva in principle to sending low-enriched uranium abroad for processing into fuel for a Tehran reactor producing medical isotopes.

"We see serious development in the talks...the continuation of talks can lead to a deal over supplying Iran with the 20 percent enriched uranium," Mottaki said.

The West hopes the step will minimize the risk of Iran refining the material to high purity suitable for bombs.

State-run Iranian television said on October 19 that Tehran would not deal directly with France since it had failed to deliver nuclear materials in the past.