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Iran Defiant Ahead Of UN Security Council Meeting

Ayatollah Khamenei (file photo) (MNA) March 21, 2007 -- Iran has reiterated its right to nuclear power and denounced the "exploitation" of the UN Security Council by world powers.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that the country will pursue nuclear activities outside international regulations if the Security Council insists it stop uranium enrichment.

He also said the country would use all its capabilities to respond to threats and to the use of force.

Earlier today, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said the West must eventually recognize Iran's right to nuclear power.

Both Ahmadinejad and Khamenei spoke in addresses marking Norouz, the Persian new year.

The comments come as the Security Council meets later today to discuss a draft resolution that expands sanctions against Iran for failing to halt uranium enrichment.

In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia will not support "excessive sanctions" against Tehran in the Security Council.

(AP, AFP, dpa)

Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran's Nuclear Program

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.