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Iranian FM insists on right to nuclear technology

Manouchehr Mottaki is on a three-day visit to Tokyo amid an escalating standoff.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 09:04 IST

Iran's foreign minister insisted on Tuesday on the right to nuclear technology as he visited Japan amid last-ditch diplomacy on the Islamic republic's atomic drive.

"We would like to enjoy rights like Japan in nuclear technology for peaceful purposes," Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters as he exited a meeting with Japanese trade minister Toshihiro Nikai.

Mottaki, who served as ambassador to Japan from 1995 to 1999, is on a three-day visit to Tokyo amid an escalating standoff.

Iran is set to resume talks with Russia on Tuesday on a compromise by Moscow under which sensitive uranium work would be conducted outside Iran, easing Western suspicions that Tehran wants weapons rather than electricity.

Mottaki was due to meet with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and business leaders later on Tuesday.

At the start of his trip on Monday, he told his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso it would be "impossible" for Tehran to end its nuclear programme and stood by its right to the technology, according to a Japanese official at their talks.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, later on Monday issued a report saying that questions remained about Tehran's nuclear programme.

First Published: Feb 28, 2006 09:04 IST