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Ahmadinejad: Iran Will Cooperate, But Won't Retreat On Nuclear Rights


Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad speaks in Mashhad.
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran will not retreat "one iota" on its nuclear rights, but it is ready to cooperate on issues regarding atomic fuel, power plants, and nuclear technology, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has said.

He said the provision of nuclear fuel for a Tehran research reactor was an opportunity for Iran to evaluate the "honesty" of world powers and the UN nuclear agency.

He was speaking on the day Iran was expected to present its formal response to a U.N.-drafted nuclear fuel deal which is meant to help ease tension over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

Iranian media say Tehran will accept the framework of the deal, but also demand changes to it.

"As long as this government is in power, it will not retreat one iota on the undeniable rights of the Iranian nation," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northeastern city of Mashhad, broadcast live on state television.

"Fortunately, conditions have been prepared for international cooperation in the nuclear field," he said. "We welcome cooperation on nuclear fuel, power plants, and technology and we are ready to cooperate."