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Iranian President Vows To Produce And Sell Nuclear Fuel

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (file photo) (epa) 25 October 2005 -- Iranian state television has reported that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad announced during a speech at the Narmak Jameh Mosque in Tehran today that his country will "produce and sell" nuclear fuel that it eventually produces.

"We will produce nuclear fuel and sell it to other countries with a 30 percent discount," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Ahmadinejad also spoke dismissively of Western promises to provide Iran with nuclear fuel, an idea that has arisen in connection with efforts to discourage the country's own production of such nuclear material.

The United States and some other Western states accuse Iran of using the program to develop nuclear weapons, while Iranian officials insist on the country's right to access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and claim they are interested only in generating electricity.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said in mid-October that Tehran is ready to resume nuclear negotiations with Europe. But he also stressed that Iran will not accept a new halt on uranium-conversion activities as a precondition to fresh talks with the EU-3, Great Britain, France, and Germany.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said in February 2004 that his country "has achieved major success in the technology of nuclear-fuel centrifuge ready to play its role within the context of an international cooperation in the market that supplies fuel for nuclear reactors," according to ISNA.

For more on the controversy over Iran's nuclear program and ambitions, click here.