Iran stands firm on peaceful nuclear use

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Iran will continue to uphold its right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, the country's chief nuclear negotiator said on Tuesday.
TEHRAN, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will continue to uphold its right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, the country's chief nuclear negotiator said on Tuesday.

"The nuclear issue is a subject on which there is unity and consensus in Iran. The path that has been taken is supported by our entire nation and all interested parties," Saeed Jalili, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by the IRNA news agency as saying.

Jalili arrived in Rome at the head of a representative delegation to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear program with EU foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana.

Iran's former security chief Larijani said his resignation would not change Iran's position on the nuclear issue.

"Iran's policy in the nuclear realm is immutable, and the appointment of a new secretary of the Supreme National Security Council will not change it," Larijani said.

Ali Larijani resigned as head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council on Saturday. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Saeed Jalili as Iran's top representative in negotiations on the country's nuclear program.

Larijani is attending the Rome meeting, but as a representative of the country's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It had long been an open secret that Larijani had differences with the more hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over strategy in negotiations regarding the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

On August 21, Iran and the IAEA agreed on a plan to resolve by the end of the year all outstanding questions the watchdog has regarding Iran's nuclear program. Western countries suspect the program of being designed to produce weapons, but Iran says it is aimed at generating energy.

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