TEHRAN -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected a UN Security Council resolution yesterday that would give his nation until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment.
Instead, Ahmadinejad insisted Tehran would pursue its nuclear program.
``My words are the words of the Iranian nation. Throughout Iran, there is one slogan: `The Iranian nation considers the peaceful use of nuclear fuel production technology its right,' " Ahmadinejad said.
The Security Council passed a resolution Monday calling for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment by the end of August or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.
Ahmadinejad said Iran will not give in to threats from the United Nations.
``If some think they can still speak with threatening language to the Iranian nation, they must know that they are badly mistaken," he said in a speech broadcast live on state-run television.
``Our nation has made its decision. We have passed the difficult stages. Today, the Iranian nation has acquired the nuclear technology."
Drafted by Britain, France, and Germany with US backing, the resolution follows a July 12 agreement -- by the foreign ministers of those four countries, plus Russia and China -- to refer Tehran to the Security Council for not responding to the incentives package.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi called the resolution ``destructive" and ``without legal foundation."
Iran's ambassador to the UN also on Monday rejected the Security Council's action, saying the resolution would make negotiations more difficult surrounding a Western incentives package offered in June to Iran in exchange for suspending enrichment.
Because of Russian and Chinese demands, the resolution's text was watered down from earlier drafts that would have made the threat of political and economic sanctions immediate. The resolution now requires the council to hold more discussions before it considers sanctions.
Iran has said it would formally respond Aug. 22 to the incentives package, but a top Iranian lawmaker said yesterday that the Security Council resolution has effectively made the offer ``null and void."