(photo credit: AP)
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that United Nations Security Council sanctions over Iran's nuclear program would only serve to further "motivate" the Iranian nation.
"We have been under sanctions for the last 27 years and these things will therefore have no impact, but just lead to more motivation of the Iranian youth," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Varamin, south of Tehran.
The president was referring to scheduled UN Security Council sanctions against the Islamic state for having violated resolution 1696 calling on Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment.
Reiterating that Iran would not retreat from the country's right to pursue nuclear technology, the ultraconservative president said: "The Iranian nation will stay united against any discrimination and give a very decisive reply to any actions trying to limit its rights."
Ahmadinejad accused the United States and Britain of having opposed Iran for over 50 years and said the two states wanted to exploit the country's oil, and "they want to deprive us of our own natural resources (uranium)."
"Wherever these two countries get involved, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon or Palestine, the situation gets worse," he added.
Ahmadinejad did not in his speech refer to last week's expansion of uranium enrichment with the operation of a second 164-machine nuclear centrifuge cascade, used to enrich uranium hexaflouride gas for nuclear fuel.
Iran rejects international claims that it is seeking to build am atomic bomb and insists on its right to peaceful nuclear technology under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.