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Ahmadinejad Says Iran Does Not Fear U.S. Attack

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Kuala Lumpur
KUALA LUMPUR -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says his country does not fear an attack by the United States over its disputed nuclear activities.

"The economic, political, and military situation will not lead Mr. Bush to do that, everybody knows this fact," Ahmadinejad told reporters on the sidelines of an Islamic summit in the Malaysian capital. "The Iranian people are ready to defend their own land."

Asked if he was willing to meet Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama during his planned trip to the Middle East, Ahmadinejad said he was prepared to meet both U.S. presidential candidates in front of the media.

Earlier, in a letter written to a Japanese newspaper, Ahmadinejad lashed out at the Group of Eight wealthy nations, saying their policies would "accelerate them along the road to a precipice," and reiterated he would not accept demands to halt uranium enrichment.

Last month, six major world powers offered a package of economic incentives in return for a halt to Tehran's nuclear activities.

Separately, an aide to Iran's Supreme Leader was quoted as saying that his country will target "vital interests" of the United States around the world if it attacks the Islamic state over its disputed nuclear activities.