TEHERAN, Iran – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized the threat of new sanctions against his country Wednesday, and said Iran can survive without the aid of the United States and its allies.
Ahmadinejad told NBC News in an interview that Iran was justified in barring further visits by United Nations atomic inspectors.
"We in Iran are in a position to meet our own requirements," he said.
The UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions in June, saying Iran has refused to suspend uranium enrichment and start negotiations with the five permanent members and Germany.
Asked about the apparent escalation of tensions in recent weeks over the topic of Koran burning in the US, Ahmadinejad said there was no conflict between the two cultures and blamed a small minority of Americans for fueling the rising anger between Muslims and Americans.
"Their interests lie in creating wars and conflicts," he said. "Koran is a heavenly book, a divine book. That was an ugly thing, to burn a holy book."
Ahmadinejad's comments came a week before he is scheduled to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.