Ayatollah: Iran won't stop nuke program

US Army chief hopes to avoid war with Iran, says US "will be at Israel's side for the next 1,000 years."

Khamenei 224.88  (photo credit: AP)
Khamenei 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran's top leader said his country would not bend to international pressure and give up its nuclear program, according to state television. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all state matters, said Iran would continue its nuclear program despite Western efforts to thwart it with sanctions. "No threat can hinder the Iranian nation from its path," he said. The UN Security Council has already imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, an activity that has fueled suspicions Teheran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Meanwhile, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday that he hopes the time does not arrive when the US decides to discontinue sanctions against Iran and instead tries to solve the nuclear standoff militarily. "I hope the US does not get into a situation where we get into a military conflict with Iran," Mullen told Channel 10. Concerning the Syrian nuclear faculty reportedly bombed by Israel and which the CIA said was being built with North Korean help, Mullen called the situation "troubling." He went on to say that the US has "has been at Israel's side for all of 60 years, it will be for the next 60 years, 100 years and 1,000 years. "With all its success, I am a tremendous admirer and have great respect for Israel," he said, expressing particular admiration for establishing a state "representing democracy and freedom."