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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 13:09 GMT
Iran defiant with atomic banknote
Iran's new 50,000 rial banknote
The note is more than double the previous highest denomination
Iran has put its determination to complete the nuclear fuel cycle on paper, with a bank note depicting an atomic symbol.

The 50,000 rial note shows electrons in orbit around an atom on a map of Iran.

The Islamic republic is fiercely proud of its nuclear programme, which has provoked alarm in the West.

The US accuses Iran of running a secret nuclear weapons programme. Iran denies this, saying its sole aim is the peaceful production of nuclear energy.

The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran for defying its call to stop uranium enrichment.

But Iran insists it has the right to run a nuclear programme.

The new note, released on Monday, shows the atom accompanied by a quote from the Prophet Muhammad: "Men from the land of Persia will attain scientific knowledge even if it is as far as the Pleiades."

The Pleiades is a cluster of stars.

On the other side, the note shows the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The move has also been noted as a sign of rapid inflation in Iran.

The new note, worth about $5.40 or 2.80, is more than twice the previous highest denomination.

Some opponents have blamed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies for rising prices.

Last year officials said the inflation rate had been cut to 10.5% from 14.5%, but non-governmental sources put the real rate at more than 16%.

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