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Iranian Pres. Says No Legal Basis For Sanctions


Iranian President Says No Legal Basis for New Sanctions

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says there is no legal basis for any new sanctions against Iran.

In Tehran Tuesday, Mr. Ahmadinejad praised the latest U.S. intelligence report that concluded Iran stopped a secret nuclear weapons program in 2003 as a "step forward." The Iranian president also said further such steps would pave the way for the resolution of regional issues.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments come as diplomats from the U.N. Security Council discuss the draft of a new sanctions resolution against Iran for its uranium enrichment program.

Officials from the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany, will hold talks Tuesday by telephone.

U.S. officials say Iran has continued to enrich uranium, despite previous U.N. sanctions. The U.S. says Tehran is still a threat, and could re-start a nuclear weapons program quickly.

Iranian media say Tehran has begun a new round of talks with U.N. experts seeking information on Iran's past nuclear activities.

Iran's Fars news agency says the talks started Monday in Tehran and will end Wednesday. Iranian media have said the International Atomic Energy Agency team will ask about uranium contamination found by U.N. inspectors at Tehran's Technical University.

The IAEA and Iran agreed in August on a timetable for Iran to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear work.

Previous talks between the two sides dealt with Iranian work on centrifuges used to enrich uranium and other issues.

Highly enriched uranium can be used to build a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear activities are for producing energy.

ENDS

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