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Ahmadinejad: Nations jealous of nuclear progress

  • Story Highlights
  • Ahmadinejad: 'The questions about our nuclear program never stop'
  • Ahmadinejad's comments came one day after release of IAEA report
  • The U.S. has been the most critical country over Iran's nuclear program
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(CNN) -- The president of Iran vowed Saturday that his country will not be held back from developing its nuclear program, and accused other nations of being jealous of its technological advances.

"They see the Iranian nation making progress -- just reaching the same scientific level -- and this is very difficult for them," said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who did not name any nations.

"The nuclear technology is ... the sort of technology that has been monopolized by a few countries," he told a reporter during a nationally televised interview. "And they want to maintain such a monopoly, and they want to use it as an instrument of domination over the whole world."

In addition, he said, the questions about its nuclear program never stop.

"We realized that as we give them more concessions, they come up with more expectations. We acted in an honest matter."

Ahmadinejad's comments came one day after the United Nation's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Iran had clarified many of the outstanding issues regarding its nuclear program.

However, despite the clarifications, the IAEA said in a report that Iran was not able to clear up its alleged weaponization studies to its satisfaction.

The alleged weaponization includes the "green salt project" studies -- research involving uranium tetrafluoride, a precursor to uranium hexafluoride, which is used in gas centrifuges to make enriched uranium -- as well as high-explosive testing and missile design work, the agency said.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, hailed the IAEA report as an indication that Iran's nuclear program was peaceful, Iran's state-run news agency IRNA reported Friday.

Last year, Iran proclaimed it had been vindicated by a U.S. intelligence report that concluded the Islamic republic was not actively working toward developing a nuclear weapon. Full story

The National Intelligence Estimate, released on December 5, also surmised that Iran had been trying to acquire a nuclear weapon prior to 2003, which Iran categorically rejected.

The NIE report shows the United States, and specifically U.S. President George W. Bush, has been wrong in accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad said. He accused Bush of ignoring the conclusions of his own intelligence agents.

Bush has called on Iran to "come clean" about its past nuclear activities, and has been the most vocal country in accusing Iran of seeking to use nuclear power for weaponry.

"Now it has become quite clear that there are no questions left, and that all the allegations have been baseless and unrealistic, and that Iran has been going through the legal process and Iran has had positive interaction with the IAEA," the Iranian leader said.

The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran after its uranium enrichment activities represented a nuclear proliferation threat. Ahmadinejad said his country is owed an apology and compensation for losses related to restrictions placed on it.

"From now on, we will tread the path of unity and resistance. Neither they or their allies will have the Iranian nation bow to them," he said.

"The case is closed. the global atmosphere has changed, so it's not possible today to make impositions on other countries." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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