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Iran's president attends SCO summit

June 15, 2006 at 2:43 PM

SHANGHAI, June 15 (UPI) -- Iran's nuclear program was the elephant in the room at Thursday's Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, talked about only on the sidelines.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the meeting as the head of an observer nation, Kyodo News Service reported. The SCO includes China, Russia and Central Asian countries.

Ahmadinejad told Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that his country plans to use nuclear power only for peaceful purposes and said Iran has cooperated completely with U.N. inspectors, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

"Iran has always called for fair negotiations on equal terms to find a solution to its nuclear case," Ahmadinejad said.

In Iran, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, embraced the nuclear program at a meeting of nuclear scientists. He told them that nuclear power is the key to prosperity.

"Any nation determined to build up its own destiny should seek such a key," Khamenei said.

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