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Iranian Ayatollah Says No Plans To Halt Nuclear Program

Ayatollah Jannati (file photo) 10 September 2004 -- A senior Iranian ayatollah said today his country will not be prevented from continuing the development of its nuclear research program.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who is the head of country's all-powerful Guardian Council, said countries warning Iran to halt its nuclear program should "know that the Iranian nation has taken its decision and that the supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] is firmly behind the notion of acquiring nuclear technology."

Jannati's comments come three days before the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency is due to discuss a U.S. proposal for Iran's nuclear program to be referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

In Geneva today, disarmament officials from the United States, Italy, Japan, and Canada met to discuss Iran's nuclear program ahead of the talks in Vienna that start on 13 September.