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Ahmadinejad: Iran No Intention Of Building Atomic Bomb

Ahmadinejad Iran Atomic Bomb

First Posted: 08/03/11 05:56 PM ET Updated: 10/03/11 06:12 AM ET

PARIS, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Iran has no intention of making an atomic bomb and its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a television interview on Wednesday.

"When we say we don't want to build an atomic bomb it means we really do not want to build an atomic bomb," Ahmadinejad, interviewed by the Euronews TV channel, said. "If somebody is looking for an atomic bomb nowadays he's mad."

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop atom bombs under cover of its nuclear programme. Iran denies the allegation, saying it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity to meet its domestic demand.

France on July 19 condemned Iran's announcement that it was installing new uranium enrichment machines to speed progress in its nuclear programme, calling it a "clear provocation".

Ahmadinejad, whose remarks were translated into French by Euronews in the live interview monitored by Reuters, said that production of 20 percent-enriched uranium was intended primarily for medical use.

"Production of 20-percent enrichment production is for totally peaceful use," he said.

"It's for a reactor that produces active medicines and produces only medicines. It's just for medical and agricultural use."

The U.N. Security Council has imposed four sets of sanctions on Tehran since 2006 for refusing to freeze its enrichment programme, which can have both civilian and military purposes.

Foreign governments have offered Iran trade and other economic and political incentives if it halts its atomic activities. Two rounds of talks last December and January between Iran and the six powers seeking to resolve the dispute diplomatically -- the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and China -- failed to make any headway.

(Reporting by Brian Love; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Filed by Eline Gordts  |