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Iranian official seeks Japanese help for nuclear program, stands firm against deeper cuts

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shake hands before their meeting at the latter's official residence in Tokyo, Wednesday March 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Kimimasa Mayama, Pool)
March 05, 2014 - 1:17 AM

TOKYO - Iran's foreign minister is pushing back against calls for deeper cuts to its nuclear program.

Mohammad Javad Zarif says that the West "cannot entertain illusions" of Iran completely ending its uranium enrichment program. Speaking in Tokyo on Wednesday, he also reiterated that his country is not going to close its heavy-water nuclear reactor.

His remarks came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Washington, D.C., that Iran must dismantle its enrichment facilities and the reactor.

Iran is trying to negotiate a deal with the U.S. and six other global powers to scale back its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.

Zarif said Iran is eager to tap Japan's nuclear power technology and also seeks investment in its oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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