19 Sep 2009

Iran 'does not need' nuclear arms - president

7:25 am on 19 September 2009

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran says his country sees no need for nuclear weapons, while insisting Iran will not abandon its pursuit of nuclear energy.

However, in an interview with NBC TV in the United States, Mr Ahmadinejad did not explicitly rule out the possibility that Iran would acquire nuclear weapons.

The BBC reports he said that it was "not a part of our programmes and plans".

In the interview, Mr Ahmadinejad said Iran would not yield to pressure from the United Nations, the US and European states.

Western powers maintain Iran is covertly developing nuclear arms, a charge Iran denies.

They have called on Iran to suspend its programme of uranium enrichment, which Tehran says is entirely peaceful.

Mr Ahmadinejad is due to address the UN General Assembly next week.

Iran is due to hold fresh talks on its nuclear programme with world powers next month.