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Cleric: West 'insane' to deny Iran nuclear rights

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March 15, 2013 08:17 AM EST | AP


TEHRAN Iran — A top Iranian cleric says Western countries must be "insane" because they do not recognize Iran's rights to pursue nuclear energy.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who is head of the hard-line Guardian Council constitutional watchdog group, also said in an address for Friday prayers carried on state radio that Iranians must be patient to endure the Western sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

The West says Iran's program is aimed at developing weapons technology. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes.