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Iranian regime marks Nuclear Technology Day as talks go on

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran is celebrating its National Nuclear Technology Day as talks with world powers over its contested program continue in Vienn.

Marking the holiday Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged negotiators not to give in to “coercive words.” Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, also says the Islamic Republic won’t stop its nuclear program.

A first-step deal, in effect since January, has curbed some Iranian nuclear activities in return for limited sanctions relief as the two sides work toward a final agreement. Negotiators face an informal July deadline to come up with a permanent deal.

Khamenei has supported the talks, run under the government of moderate President Hassan Rouhani. Hard-liners, however, have strongly opposed them.