TEHRAN (AFP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday lashed out at his Western foes which demand Iran halt its sensitive nuclear activities, saying they were "racing to hell".
"The Iranian people have climbed over difficult mountain passes on their path of progress. The enemies need to step aside from our path and give up their satanic ideas," he said, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.
"One or two countries are refusing to accept that Iran is now mastering nuclear technology ... Some countries are racing towards hell. But this makes us sad and, for the good of their people, we will resist."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, reiterated on Sunday that Tehran was not seeking to manufacture atomic weapons.
"While the Iranian people do not have nuclear weapons and do not wish to acquire these deadly arms, the people are respected because their grandeur is based on their beliefs and their will," he told a group of Revolutionary Guards chiefs.
The UN Security Council has issued two sanctions resolutions against Tehran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a key part of an atomic programme that the United States alleges is aimed at making nuclear weapons.
The United States and European allies like Britain and France have warned of a third such resolution should Iran remain defiant.
Washington has also not ruled out the option of military action against Iran, which insists its nuclear programme is peaceful.
"The oppressive countries have even threatened to launch a military attack against Iran but God is on the side of the gentle," Ahmadinejad added.
Iranian officials have said they now consider the dossier of the Iranian nuclear programme to be closed after agreeing a timetable to clear up outstanding questions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
But the United States has expressed grave reservations over the deal, which it says does not go far enough.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday denounced what he said were "wardrums (from those) who are basically saying the solution is to bomb Iran" and defended the deal as necessary to defuse the crisis.
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