Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday declared that Tehran will not pull back
"even a needle's width" from its nuclear path, even after an
incriminating UN report on its nuclear program.
decried the UN nuclear watchdog's report - which was released Tuesday
night - saying it damaged the International Atomic Energy Agency's
dignity and was based on "invalid" US claims.
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"You should know that this nation will not pull back even a
needle's width from the path it is on," he said in a speech
carried live on Iranian state television. "Why do you damage the
agency's dignity because of America's invalid claims?" he asked.
Ahmadinejad's comments echoed those of Iran's IAEA envoy on Tuesday, who spoke shortly after the report's release.
report is unbalanced,
unprofessional and politically motivated," said Ali Asghar Soltanieh,
Iran's envoy to the IAEA.
The Iranian ambassador said the IAEA report "did not contain any new issue."
"Despite Iran's readiness for negotiations, the IAEA published the report ... which will harm its reputation," Soltanieh said.
On Wednesday, hours before the report was released, Ahmadinejad criticized IAEA chair Yukiyo Amano, calling him a pawn for US
Ahmadinejad said that IAEA was a tool for a few
countries bent on world domination, and stated that Iran would continue
to pursue nuclear development despite international pressure.
"They have empowered a person in the IAEA that
has no authority and violates the agency's rules by repeating the words
of the US," the Iranian president said according to Iranian
semi-official FARS News Agency.
Ahamdinejad made the comments
just as the IAEA was expected to release a report detailing intelligence
about Tehran's nuclear capabilities.
The Iranian president also lashed out at the United States, saying Iran
does not need an atomic bomb to "cut off [the] US's hands," official
Iranian PressTV reported.
Noting that the United States possesses over 5,000 nuclear warheads,
Ahmadinejad accused Washington of arrogance in its campaign against
The US, he said, has allocated "$81 billion to upgrade its atomic bombs,
while the entire annual budget of Iran's nuclear research is merely
$250 million," according to the report.
The UN nuclear watchdog report is expected to show recent activity in
Iran that could help in developing nuclear warheads, including computer
models of such weapons.