Ahmadinejad signals hardening of N-stance | india | Hindustan Times
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Ahmadinejad signals hardening of N-stance

Israeli attacks against Palestinian and Lebanon were causing Iran to harden its stance in the int'l row over its N-programme.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2006 02:41 IST

Iran's president on Sunday signalled that Israeli attacks against the Palestinian territories and Lebanon were causing Iran to harden its stance in the international row over its nuclear programme.

"We are examining the package, considering our interests and definitive legitimate rights and will announce our views at the appointed date," Mahoud Ahmadinejad said of an international offer of incentives in exchange for a halt to sensitive atomic work.

"But the incidents in Lebanon and Palestine have influenced our examination," said the president, whose country is a major supporter of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement as well as the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Ahmadinejad also asserted that "the government is determined to fully exploit the rights of the Iranian nation," signalling Tehran's continued unwillingness to freeze its controversial uranium enrichment programme.

Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to the levels needed for reactor fuel and that this is a right enshrined by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"Nuclear energy is clean and renewable, and all nations have the right to use it," said Ahmadinejad, who was speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.