Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday, insisted that his country's nuclear program is peaceful and Iran does not need a nuclear bomb.
Iran has been working within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has not hidden anything, Ahmadinejad said.
"The bottom line is we do not need a (nuclear) bomb," he said.
Later he repeated: "We are not seeking a nuclear bomb, let me make that clear."
The Iranian leader also indicated that Iran will continue to hold negotiations with the EU on its nuclear issue by saying that the talks "are moving on the right path."
"Hopefully others will not disrupt the work. In small ways perhaps, it is a constructive path to take," he said.
Moreover, Iran is prepared to negotiate on suspending uranium enrichment activities "under fair and just conditions," he said.
Ahmadinejad also stressed that Iran has cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by providing documents and access to nuclear facilities. "I am at a loss in understanding what else we need to provide guarantees," he said.
During his address to the 61st session of the UN General Assembly, Ahmadinejad asserted that his country's nuclear program is peaceful, transparent and under the "watchful eye" of the IAEA.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution in July, asking Iran to suspend uranium enrichment by the end of August. However, Iran failed to abide by the resolution and the United States has since sought to impose sanctions on Iran through the Security Council.
The United States has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear programs. However, Iran has said that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only.
The European Union, represented by its high representative for foreign policy and security affairs Javier Solana, has favored continuing negotiations with Iran to try to resolve Iran's nuclear issue.
(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2006)