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Top leader insists Iran not seeking nuclear arms
Iran's top leader insists his country is not seeking nuclear weapons
By The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) ' Iran's top leader insists the Islamic Republic is not seeking nuclear weapons, saying they are "useless, harmful and dangerous."

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke Wednesday after meetings with Iranian nuclear scientists and officials. He did not mention a visit this week to Iran by the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

The International Atomic Energy Agency team left Tehran on Tuesday without finding any way forward in attempts to persuade Iran to talk about suspected secret work on atomic arms.

Khamenei says atomic weapons don't bring power but that Iran's achievements in nuclear technology have brought dignity and pride to the nation. His remarks were broadcast on state TV.

The West accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

VIENNA (AP) ' A top U.N. nuclear official says his team could "could not find a way forward" in attempts to persuade Iran to talk about suspected secret work on atomic arms.

Herman Nackaerts of the International Atomic Energy Agency says the talks in Tehran were inconclusive, although his mission approached the talks "in a constructive spirit."

Nackaerts spoke to reporters at Vienna airport Wednesday shortly after returning from the Iranian capital.

An IAEA statement published overnight already acknowledged the talks had failed.

Iran denies it has experimented with nuclear arms programs but has refused to cooperate with an IAEA probe on the issue for nearly four years.

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