Rowhani talks tough on Iran nuclear rights
TEHERAN (AFP) - Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said on Tuesday Teheran will not give up "one iota" of its nuclear rights, echoing his hardline predecessor, while warning world powers the timeframe for negotiation was not unlimited.
He spoke ahead of a meeting later this month between Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on restarting negotiations on the Islamic republic's disputed nuclear ambitions.
"Our government will not give up one iota of its absolute rights" in its nuclear activities, said Mr Rowhani, repeating a mantra frequently used by his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Speaking to state television later in the evening, Mr Rowhani said his administration had the "necessary determination and mechanism" to "step by step" remove suspicions by Western powers and Israel that Iran's nuclear drive is a cover to build a bomb despite repeated denials by Teheran.