Iranian president: No one can take away nuclear technology belonging to "the nation"

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave no sign of movement ahead of Friday's U.N. Security Council deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. In a speech Thursday, the president even appeared to challenge the council to impose sanctions on Iran for its defiance.

"Did you imagine that you can impose anything on the Iranian nation or force it to retreat from its rights by frowning at us or by issuing resolutions?" Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands in western Iran. "You still don't know the power of the Iranian nation."

On the other side of the looming showdown, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Security Council to take a tough line on Iran for its refusal to back down on enrichment, a process that a process that can produce fuel for power generators or material for nuclear bombs.

"In order to be credible, the Security Council of course has to act," Rice told reporters at a NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Thursday.

"The Security Council is the primary and most important institution for the maintenance of peace and stability and security, and it cannot have its will and its word simply ignored by a member state," Rice said.

In his televised speech, Ahmadinejad made light of the prospect of the Security Council's taking steps against Iran for continuing to enrich uranium. The United States, France and Britain have said that if Iran flouts the council's ultimatum to cease enrichment by Friday, they will seek to make the demand compulsory.

"They must know that the Iranian nation will not give in one iota to oppression," Ahmadinejad said.

"The Iranian nation has acquired nuclear fuel production technology. It didn't get assistance from anybody and nobody can take it back," Ahmadinejad said.

He warned that the United States and its allies would regret it if they took steps that "violated" Iran's rights, reports AP.

O.Ch.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team