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Iranian President Hopes to Complete Nuclear Fuel Program Soon


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he hopes his country will soon be able to celebrate the completion of its nuclear fuel program.

Mr. Ahmadinejad told reporters in Tehran Tuesday that many countries have agreed to live with an Iran that possesses a nuclear fuel cycle. He did not elaborate.

He also said Iran is ready for talks with the United States, but only if Washington, as he put it, corrects its behavior. In addition, the Iranian president said he is preparing a message for the American people.

Monday, President Bush said that if Iran wants a dialogue, it must first verifiably suspend uranium enrichment.

Meanwhile, the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says Iran is pressing ahead with uranium enrichment and is not cooperating with U.N. inspectors.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, in a confidential report obtained by news agencies, also said that U.N. inspectors found new traces of plutonium - a possible weapons material - at a nuclear waste site in Iran.

The U.N. Security Council is considering a draft resolution for sanctions against Iran for refusing to abide by an August 31 deadline to suspend its enrichment activities.

Russia and China have been reluctant to punish Iran.

Uranium enrichment can be used both to produce fuel to generate electricity or, at higher levels, to make atomic bombs. The United States believes Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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