Israel would not "dare attack Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a press conference Friday, after new revelations surfaced that the country has been building a secret uranium enrichment plant.
If Israel did attack, Ahmadinejad went on to say, "The Iranians can defend themselves."
The Iranian president also told reporters that the plant would not be operational for 18 months, and stressed that Teheran had not broken any international laws.
Earlier Friday, in a a Time interview which came as Obama spoke at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, Ahmadinejad warned US President Barack Obama not to push Teheran over the plant.
"If I were Obama's adviser," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying, "I would definitely advise him to refrain making this statement because it is definitely a mistake."
He claimed that Teheran was not concealing any information from the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying "We have no secrecy, we work within the framework of the IAEA."
At roughly the same time as Ahmadinejad's comments were published, Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a statement at the G-20, demanding Iran quickly disclose all its nuclear efforts - including any moves toward weapons development - "or be held accountable."
Sarkozy said Iran has until December to comply or face new sanctions. Before that, the Iranians are to meet next week with the US and other major powers to discuss a range of issues including Iran's nuclear program.
"We will not let this matter rest," said Brown, who accused Iran of "serial deception."
Obama urged Iran to fully disclose its nuclear activities and said the IAEA must investigate the newly revealed site, saying, "The Iranian government must now demonstrate through deeds its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law."
Just hours later, the head of Iran's nuclear program suggested UN inspectors will be allowed to visit it. Ali Akbar Salehi called the facility "a semi-industrial plant for enriching nuclear fuel" that is not yet complete, but he gave no other details, according to the state news agency IRNA.
A senior Iranian official was quoted by Reuters on Friday as saying that Teheran was not keeping the plant a secret.
"If it was a covert plant, we would not have informed the [International Atomic Energy] Agency," the unnamed official was quoted as saying.
AP contributed to this report