Ahmadinejad: We'll never give up nuclear program

Ahmadinejad marks anniversary of Islamic revolution, says "enemies of Iran can't do anything."

ahmadinejad finger 224 8 (photo credit: AP)
ahmadinejad finger 224 8
(photo credit: AP)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Monday that Iran would never give into Western pressure to give up its disputed nuclear program and warned that the UN Security Council risked losing credibility if it imposes any more sanctions against his country. Ahmadinejad made his remarks during large celebrations marking the 29th anniversary of the Islamic revolution - using the occasion to showcase support for his hard-line nuclear polices. The president repeatedly asked the hundred of thousands people gathered in the capital, Teheran, if they would agree to Security Council demands that Iran stop enriching uranium. "I ask the people's view. Would you agree if I ... gave in, surrendered or compromised over the nuclear issue? Would you agree to give up one iota of your nuclear rights?" Ahmadinejad asked the demonstrators at Azadim Square, which means freedom in Farsi. The crowd chanted in response: "No!" and "Nuclear energy is our definite right." World powers agreed on a draft resolution last month to impose a third round of sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or material for an atomic bomb. Iran has condemned as "invalid" and "illegal" two previous resolutions that ordered a ban on the supply of specified materials and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs. Those sanctions also imposed an asset freeze on key Iranian companies and individuals named by the UN "Enemies of the Iranian nation can't do anything other than playing with papers and resorting to propaganda. ... The Iranian nation will not give up one iota of its nuclear rights," Ahmadinejad told the crowd. "They assumed that the Iranian nation will withdraw through threats, resolutions, sanctions and psychological war but, like always, they are mistaken." Ahmadinejad said Iran won't be frightened by the threat of more sanctions. "If powers make any decision against the Iranian nation, they in fact decide against their own credibility. On the nuclear issue, they discredited themselves at the UN Security Council and showed the inefficiency of the council," he said. Ahmadinejad said Security Council sanctions against Iran were based on US-led allegations that Iran was seeking to build nuclear weapons, claims later rejected by US National Intelligence Estimate. "They made decisions based on wrong information and imposed it on the council," he said. Ahmadinejad was referring to a US intelligence report in December that concluded Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003. State-run television said millions of Iranians took to streets across Iran to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled the pro-US Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought hard-line clerics to power. The TV showed huge crowds in dozens of cities chanting slogans against the US In the capital Teheran, hundreds of thousands of residents shouted "Death to America" and burned effigies of US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as they marched through the streets. "Down with the USA!" read placards carried by the demonstrators. "Israel is an enemy of Islam! Israel is an enemy of humanity!" said another sign carried by demonstrators. State television has been broadcasting archive footage from the 1979 Islamic revolution and patriotic songs for Monday's rallies, urging the nation to turn out in huge numbers to show their support for the ruling Islamic establishment.