Iran Refuses to Cede Nuclear Rights
President rejects deadline for halting uranium enrichment
By Michael Foreman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 3, 2008 12:49 PM CDT
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, shakes hands with Syria's President Bashar Assad during his official welcoming ceremony in Tehran on Aug, 2, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected an informal deadline from the UN Security Council to halt its uranium enrichment program, the AP reports. In talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Ahmadinejad refused to cede "a single iota of its nuclear rights" despite threats of more sanctions. Tehran maintains its nuclear program is aimed at producing power, and says it's open to international talks.  

Assad met with Ahmadinejad yesterday at the request of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. A close ally since the Iran-Iraq War, Syria hopes to boost its visibility in the region. But Germany has been less diplomatic, directly warning Iran to "stop dallying." Said Germany's foreign minister, "We would freeze our sanctions efforts and Iran the development of its centrifuges."