TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's hard-line president said Wednesday Iran won't give up "one iota" of its right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated his uncompromising stance as Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani held talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Berlin, described by an EU official as "very intense."
"In negotiations, they tell us to suspend (uranium) enrichment even for a day on the pretext of a technical problem so that they continue talks," state-run television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying Wednesday. "Our response to them is that no one has the right to give up the rights of the Iranian nation."
Ahmadinejad said the U.S. and its European allies want to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment but won't succeed.
"They want to create propaganda about it and tell the world that they forced Iran to suspend (enrichment), but they are mistaken. The Iranian nation won't retreat from its right one iota," he was quoted as saying.
Solana and Larijani are holding talks over a package of incentives that six countries — the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany — are offering Tehran in return for suspending its uranium enrichment program and returning to full-scale negotiations.
Their meetings are scheduled to continue Thursday.
Iran violated the United Nations demand to halt uranium enrichment by Aug. 31. Enrichment can produce either fuel for a reactor or material for a warhead. The United States and several of its allies believe Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran maintains its program is peaceful and merely aimed at generating electricity.