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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said if Iran wanted to build nuclear weapons, no nation could stop it.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said if Iran wanted to build nuclear weapons, no nation could stop it. (AP)
Posted: February 18, 2013

Iranian: Nuclear arms not a goal

TEHRAN, Iran - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, said Saturday that his country was not seeking nuclear weapons, but that if Tehran intended to build them, the United States couldn't stop it.

Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, also rejected direct talks with the U.S. over its nuclear program.

"We believe nuclear weapons must be abolished and we have no intention of building" such weaponry, Khamenei said in remarks posted on his website. But he added: "If Iran had the intention to build nuclear weapons, the U.S. could in no way stop" the effort.

He said Tehran would hold talks with the United States if Washington respects Iran's rights instead of resorting to bullying.

Addressing a group of Iranians at his home in the capital, Tehran, Khamenei also scolded President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his conservative rivals for factional fighting, saying they should unite rather than quarrel at a time when the West was stepping up sanctions on Iran. - AP

Spain's eviction laws protested

MADRID - Demonstrations were held across Spain on Saturday to protest harsh repossession laws that have led to hundreds of thousands of evictions during the country's deep recession.

In Madrid - one of 50 cities where such protests were planned - thousands of people marched to demand that the government amend the laws. Demonstrations also took place in cities such as Barcelona, Pamplona, Valencia, and Seville.

More than 350,000 Spaniards have received eviction orders since 2008 because they were unable to make mortgage payments.

Most of those evicted remain liable to repay the sum originally borrowed, even as the value of their homes plunges. - AP

Egypt's police to get new guns

CAIRO - An Egyptian security official said Saturday that the Interior Ministry has agreed to purchase 100,000 new 9mm pistols after low-ranking police officers went on strike demanding greater firepower to defend themselves against increased lawlessness.

The announcement ended five days of strikes by thousands of low-ranking policemen that threatened to further unravel security in the Arab world's most populous nation, two years after the overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

It is also likely to provoke a new wave of criticism against the ministry by rights groups and activists who accuse police of using excessive force against unarmed protesters and carrying out the same brutal tactics of the former regime. - AP

Elsewhere:

Police in Ivory Coast fired tear gas to disperse a march by supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo. Hundreds gathered Saturday to call for Gbagbo's liberation days before the International Criminal Court makes a decision as to whether he will be tried for crimes against humanity.

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