Iranian president challenegs U.N., proposes debate with Bush

Two days before the deadline set by the U.N. for Tehran to stop uranium enrichment, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that no one can stop him and proposed a TV debate with te U.S. president George W. Bush, AP reports.

"The use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is the right of the Iranian nation. The Iranian nation has chosen this path. ... No one can prevent it," he said during a press conference.

The U.N. Security Council has given Iran until Thursday to suspend a key part of its nuclear program - the enrichment of uranium, a process that can produce either fuel for a reactor or material for weapons.

But Iran has refused any immediate suspension, calling the deadline as illegal.

"The U.S. and Britain are the source of many tensions. At the Security Council, where they have to protect security, they enjoy the veto right," Ahmadinejad said.

"This (veto right) is the source of problems of the world. ... It is an insult to the dignity, independence, freedom and sovereignty of nations," he said.

Iran last week responded to a Western incentives package aimed at getting Tehran to roll back its nuclear program. Iranian officials said the Islamic country did not agree to halt enrichment - the key demand - before engaging in further talks.

Ahmadinejad on Tuesday called the response an opportunity for the two sides to resolve the issue.

"The opportunity the Iranian nation has given to other countries today is a very exceptional opportunity for a fair resolution of the issue," Ahmadinejad said.

The Iranian president also said the creation of Israel is a "tale" and called the Jewish state a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.

"The Zionist regime has deprived the Palestinian nation and other nations of the region of a single day of peace. In the past 60 years, it has imposed tens of wars on the Palestinian nation and others," he said.