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Ahmadinejad vows to continue N-programme

He said US-backed int'l sanctions will not deter the Islamic republic from developing nuclear technology.

world Updated: Aug 23, 2007 01:07 IST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrapped up a visit to neighbouring Azerbaijan on Wednesday with a vow to continue Iran's contested nuclear programme.



Ahmadinejad said US-backed international sanctions would not deter the Islamic republic from developing nuclear technology.



"They know well that their behaviour vis-a-vis the Iranian nation will have no impact on our nation's resolve and that they will be forced to openly admit the rights of the Iranian nation," Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.



"We want nuclear technology to be at the service of (all) nations' progress, welfare and peace, and we are against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," he said.



Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency agreed on Tuesday, after two days of talks, on a timetable for Tehran to answer outstanding concerns about its nuclear programme, although the dates have not been made public.



The agreement means that Tehran will have to answer specific questions about its nuclear programme -- which the US claims is aimed at making atomic weapons -- in line with the agreed timetable over the coming weeks.



Ahmadinejad, speaking at the end of a two-day visit to Azerbaijan to counter growing US influence in the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic, also accused "Zionists and groups attached to big powers" of "striving to sow discord among nations."



"They are making mistakes because the bonds of friendship between the two nations of Iran and Azerbaijan have roots in history," he said.