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Iran seeks meeting with U.N. on nuclear program

The Baltimore Sun

TEHRAN, Iran -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran wants to take part in a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to brief member states about Iran's nuclear program, a government spokesman said yesterday on state-run television.

"The president of Iran plans to speak in a possible meeting of the Security Council on Iran's nuclear program to defend the right of the Iranian nation to use peaceful nuclear technology," said the government spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham.

No further details were disclosed in that report about the timing of the visit.

But the ISNA student news agency reported that a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, confirmed the news and added, "The president is planning to take part in the next meeting of the Security Council."

The five permanent members of the Security Council - Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States - and Germany are considering tougher sanctions on Iran after it ignored a deadline by the Council to halt its uranium enrichment.

The United States and some Western governments accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. But Iran contends that its program is peaceful and for energy purposes.

"The president intends to discuss and explain Iran's position," Hosseini was quoted as saying by the ISNA.

Yesterday, Tehran also accused Russia of "politicizing" preparations for a nuclear power plant that Russia was building for Iran in the southern city of Bushehr.

Russia has delayed completing the plant, giving various reasons. Last month, in a dispute over whether Iran could make its payments in euros instead of dollars, the Russian firm leading the construction said Iran had not been able to make its payments. Iran says that it has made all of its payments.

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