Iran's leadership boasts that it is safe from US military action, saying Washington knows an attack would find no world support and send oil prices skyrocketing. That confidence is buoying the government in its standoff with the West, despite new sanctions.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, on Friday dismissed the United States' announcement a day earlier of new sanctions, saying "Washington will isolate itself" with the measures.
"They have imposed sanctions on us for 28 years. The new sanctions are just in the same direction," Jalili said as he returned from talks with European officials in Germany and Italy, according to the state news agency IRNA.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is taking a hard line in the confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, apparently confident that the US's two main pressure tools - sanctions and the threat of military action - are ineffective.