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Ahmadinejad meets Ban Ki-moon in NY

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Ahmadinejad meets Ban Ki-moon in NY

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is being urged to do more to help resolve the row over Iran’s nuclear programme.

The appeal comes from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a meeting with the Iranian president in New York.

Ahmadinejad is due to address the General Assembly this week.

In a TV interview he said the US had to accept that Iran is a major world power, repeating denials that it wants to create nuclear bombs. He has also called on Washington to release eight Iranian prisoners as what he calls a “humanitarian gesture.”

Last week, Iran released one of three American hikers detained since last summer.

Protests against Ahmadinejad’s visit are expected throughout the week in New York.

Ban Ki-moon has called on Iran to “engage in a constructive manner” in nuclear talks. He says he also stressed the importance of respecting fundamental rights.