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UPDATED: 09:43, March 01, 2006
French president reiterates Iran's right to civil nuclear power
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French President Jacques Chirac reiterated Tuesday that Iran had the right to civil nuclear power as long as it respects its commitments to the demands of non- proliferation.

"France believes in the need for the demands of non- proliferation to be respected, but believes this does not in any way prejudice Iran's right to civil nuclear energy within such a framework," Chirac was quoted as saying by his spokesman Jerome Bonnafont.

He made the remarks in conversation with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a few days ahead of a crucial meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which must rule whether to refer Iran to the Security Council over its nuclear program.

Iran agreed on Sunday "in principle" to Russia's proposal to set up a joint uranium enrichment facility on Russian soil. The compromise, backed by the Americans and the Europeans, would ease fears that Iran could acquire nuclear weapons.

Source: Xinhua

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