Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday defended his economic policies from sharp domestic criticism and said recent UN Security Council sanctions would never deter the country from pursuing its nuclear program.
"The (UN) resolution was delivered dead. Ten more similar resolutions will not affect our economy and our policy," the president said in a speech broacast live on state-run television as he delivered a budget for the new year.
"Falsely, they want to imply that we have had costs in this regard," the president said - an apparent reference to recent news stories in the West that prices of food and other basics have risen in Iran since the UN sanctions were imposed in late December.
The UN Security Council imposed limited sanctions to punish Iran for defying a resolution demanding that it suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can produce material to fuel nuclear reactors or provide fuel for bombs.