Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that the country will not retreat in the face of demands by world powers for Tehran to halt sensitive nuclear work.
“Taking one step back against arrogant (powers) will lead to them to take one step forward,” Khamenei was quoted as saying by state television in a sermon.
His comments come just ahead of a Saturday deadline for Iran to respond to a package of incentives aimed at persuading it to freeze uranium enrichment, a process that makes nuclear fuel but also the core of an atomic bomb.
(Article continues below)
“The idea that any retreat or backing down from righteous positions would change the policies of arrogant world powers is completely wrong and baseless,” said Khamenei, who has the final say on all key policy issues in Iran.
Iran has been slapped with three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt enrichment. It insists it has the right to nuclear technology as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and denies Western claims it is seeking to build atomic weapons.