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    Iran demands West apologize for nuclear suspicions

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    Iran's president demanded on Friday that Western nations apologize to Iran for suspecting it was conducting a covert nuclear weapons program, put in doubt by a recent UN watchdog report.

    TEHRAN, November 16 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's president demanded on Friday that Western nations apologize to Iran for suspecting it was conducting a covert nuclear weapons program, put in doubt by a recent UN watchdog report.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its Iran report on Thursday that Tehran had been truthful, in general, about key aspects of its "nuclear dossier," but warned the country continued to work on uranium enrichment, despite persistent international demands to fold the program.

    Iran says that it needs nuclear energy for electricity generation not weapons production.

    "You have passed two resolutions based on erroneous information and reports, but now when you realize your mistakes you should be courageous enough to acknowledge it and apologize to the Iranian people," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on local television.

    The Islamic Republic is currently subject to two sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its defiance to halt uranium enrichment. A further round of tougher sanctions has been blocked by Russia and China.

    The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions against the oil-rich Middle East nation, and media reports have said Washington is not ruling out a military campaign.

    Ahmadinejad hailed the IAEA's report as "true to life" and "largely free from pressure exerted by certain powers." He also accused Washington of pressurizing the UN watchdog for years with the aim of "using Iran's civilian nuclear activities as a reason for creating tension in the region."

    A meeting of five permanent Security Council members and Germany scheduled for next week to discuss tougher sanctions on Iran has been cancelled because China has pulled out, Reuters reported on Friday citing European diplomatic sources.

    The U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China were due to meet on November 19 to assess reports on Tehran's nuclear program from the IAEA and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

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