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Iran Vows to Resist Pressure on Nuclear Issue
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Iranian Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Ali Khamenei vowed in Teheran Thursday that Iran is fixed to resist any pressure and conspiracy imposed on the country's nuclear program.

"During the past 27 years, we have experienced such situations for many times. Now, the Iranian nation is determined to resist any pressure or conspiracy," Khamenei was quoted by state television as saying.

"We will forge ahead with the work towards mastery of nuclear technology," Khamenei said.

Earlier in the day, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would never give in to bullies on its nuclear issue, for nuclear energy is an undeniable right of the country.

"The Iranian nation will never give in to bullies, and all of them are announcing that nuclear energy is an undeniable right," Ahmadinejad was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying in the western province of Lorestan.

"The people of Iran will not accept coercion and unjust decisions by international organizations," Ahmadinejad said.

The comments of the two top Iranian officials came just one day after the country's nuclear file was formally sent to the UN Security Council.

On Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors concluded a key seasonal meeting in Vienna.

Although discrepancies still remained within the IAEA board on its next move on Iran, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's report on the Iranian nuclear issue was handed over to the UN Security Council soon after the meeting.

ElBaradei stressed that the involvement of the Security Council was "just a new phase of diplomacy, not the end of it."

Iran has said it will continue talks with the international community to find a solution to its nuclear dispute despite the negative situation.

Echoing Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, Iran's Majlis (parliament) Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel also criticized the western approach on its nuclear issue as "dual attitude," saying opposition to Iran's nuclear pursuit "runs counter to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)."

However, Adel showed some degree of restraint as to a motion put forward by some lawmakers to cease all co-operation with the IAEA which Teheran defined as voluntary, saying the issue should be considered after the Majlis was briefed by all related officials on the nuclear program.

A senior Iranian security official warned on Wednesday Iran could inflict "harm and pain" to match whatever punishment Washington persuaded the Security Council to mete out for Iran's refusal to heed calls that it halt atomic fuel research.

Some Iranian officials have warned that if pressured further over the nuclear case Teheran could restrict its vital oil exports to push prices even higher.

The IAEA board of governors in early February adopted a resolution to report Iran's case to the UN Security Council but called on the powerful UN body to withhold punitive actions until the meeting in March.

The resolution urges Iran to suspend all work related to uranium enrichment and fully cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

However, Iran disallowed IAEA's snap inspections and resumed small-scale enrichment work, a retaliative move against the IAEA resolution.

(China Daily March 10, 2006)


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