Iran Nuclear NewsIran vows resistance in nuclear standoff

Iran vows resistance in nuclear standoff

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AP: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Iran has brought world powers “to their knees” and successfully resisted U.S.-led efforts to get Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment. The Associated Press

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Iran has brought world powers “to their knees” and successfully resisted U.S.-led efforts to get Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment.

Ahmadinejad delivered a defiant speech to cheering supporters in southern Iran, just days ahead of a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on the country’s disputed nuclear program.

The fiery leader said Iran would not stop enriching uranium — a process that yields material that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or bombs — under any conditions. Tehran says its program is to generate fuel only, but Washington and some of its allies fear the program is aimed at building nuclear weapons.

“They (U.S. and its allies) expected the Iranian nation … to surrender after a resolution is issued or sanctions are imposed, but today … it has brought all big powers to their knees,” Ahmadinejad told supporters in Bandar Abbas, in comments broadcast live on state television.

His speech drew chants of “Nuclear energy is our definite right!” from the crowd.

Iran says it has a right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for peaceful means. But it has been slapped with two rounds of U.N. sanctions over its refusal to stop enrichment.

Addressing the U.S. directly, Ahmadinejad warned Wednesday that America and its allies would face a determined nation “if you start a new game.” He did not elaborate, but was likely referring to Washington’s efforts to push for a new round of U.N. sanctions.

Such efforts come in the wake of a U.S. intelligence report in December that concluded Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and has not resumed it since. U.S. officials continue to warn that Iran’s enrichment work could easily allow Tehran to resume weapons development. Iran says it never had a weapons program.

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