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Iranian Supreme Leader Vows to Pursue Nuclear Program


Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says his country will not abandon its efforts to develop nuclear technology.

His comments came during a ceremony Tuesday marking the 19th anniversary of the death of Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and were broadcast live on state television.

Ayatollah Khamenei rejected allegations Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, saying such weapons have no use. He also said Iran will achieve its goal of producing nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

The speech comes one day after the chairman of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed El Baradei, urged Iran to turn over more information on its nuclear program.

Iran has said it could limit its cooperation with the U.N.'s nuclear agency after its latest report was critical of Tehran.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of working to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has said repeatedly its atomic program is peaceful.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is expected to visit Iran soon to deliver a new package of incentives aimed at persuading Iran to stop enriching uranium.

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

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