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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Iranian Jews rally in support of nation's nuclear program

Hundreds of Iranians, including university students and members of the country's Jewish community, rallied Tuesday in support of the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear program on the eve of the resumption of talks with world powers.

Iranian state TV showed students gathered at the gate of Fordo enrichment facility, carved into a mountain south of Tehran. They formed a human chain, chanted "Fordo is in our hearts" and denounced the West, which has put pressure on Iran to curb enrichment activity which can be a step toward weapons development.

In Tehran, meanwhile, several dozen people identifying themselves as Iranian Jews gathered outside a UN building. It was a rare public display by the community, which tends to keep a low profile despite being the largest in the region outside Israel and Turkey.

Iran's nuclear program is popular, including among critics of the clerically dominated system, but any major gatherings or demonstrations would need official approval.

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