TEHRAN, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has confirmed that Iran will not give up the nuclear fuel cycle in response to international requests it stop enriching uranium.
Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iranian news agency IRNA as saying Wednesday "those who believe that by taking stances and making certain declarations can deprive us from peaceful nuclear technology, they are utterly wrong."
"Using nuclear energy is a firm right for Iran and our people will keep that right," he added.
In an obvious reference to the United States and Europe, Ahmadinejad said, "those who are thousands of kilometers away on the other side of the globe and who are conspiring to obstruct Iran's development, should know that the people who succeeded in possessing nuclear energy with the efforts of its own young brains is also capable of rising to the highest summits of development and construction."
Ahmadinejad's comment constituted a further and firmer rejection of a Security Council decision passed July 31 calling on Tehran to stop enriching uranium by the end of August or face economic and diplomatic sanctions.
The five permanent Security Council members -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- and Germany offered Iran a package of economic and trade incentives as well as security guarantees in return for suspending uranium enrichment. But Tehran delayed response until August, further delaying the deadline set by the 5+1 countries.