TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran’s supreme leader said on Sunday Tehran would not give up its rights in the face of Western pressure, two days after major powers said they would make a new offer to convince Tehran to halt its nuclear plans.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not explicitly mention Iran’s nuclear activities, which Western powers suspect are aimed at making bombs, but Iranian officials have repeatedly ruled out halting the programme which they say is a national right.
“We will continue with our path with power and we will not allow the arrogant ones to step on the right of this nation,” Khamenei said in a speech, referring to Iran’s Western foes.
“Threatening the Iranian nation will not (make it) retreat,” he said during a visit to the southern province of Fars, state television reported. “No threat can persuade the Iranian nation to stop its path.”
World powers met in London on Friday and said they would offer new incentives to encourage Iran to halt nuclear work.
Iran, which says its nuclear programme is a peaceful drive to generate electricity, refused the last such offer made in 2006. Iranian officials have in recent weeks ruled out halting the atomic work in exchange for trade and other benefits.