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Iran Vows No Weakness Over Nuclear Standoff


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to pursue nuclear technology - a day after the U.N. nuclear agency reported that Iran has failed to stop enriching uranium as demanded by the Security Council.

State media quote Mr. Ahmadinejad as saying in northern Iran Friday that Iran must stand up to the world and not show weakness over its nuclear program.

Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported to the Security Council that Iran has expanded its uranium enrichment activity. The report clears the way for possible further U.N. sanctions against Iran.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that the door for negotiations with Iran remains open, although the matter would likely be taken up again by the U.N. Security Council.

The five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany are to meet in London next week to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue.

The United States has voiced disappointment over Iran's failure to comply with the international demands. Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said Thursday his country would prefer not to impose new sanctions on Iran.

The United States and other major powers allege that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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