Ahmadinejad vows to stand by Iran nuclear work

ImageTEHRAN, Aug 17, 2006 (AFP) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Thursday to stand by the country’s nuclear work, insisting the UN Security Council cannot deprive Iran of its "rights", state news agency IRNA reported.

"The Iranian people stand by their rights with solidarity. They cannot deprive Iran of its undeniable rights with these sessions and paper-shuffling," he said in remarks aimed at UN Security Council members.

The West, led by the United States, suspects Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons. Tehran denies those charges, saying its atomic program is for peaceful purposes.

"Those who attacked Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs are posing as peaceful now and trying to prevent Iran from exercising its right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy," he said of Iran’s arch-enemy the United States.

Iran has already rejected a UN Security Council resolution demanding Tehran suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment by August 31 or risk possible sanctions.

Enriched uranium is used in the peaceful nuclear fuel cycle but it can also make the core of an atom bomb.

Iran has said that on August 22 it will respond to an offer of incentives, including cooperation and multilateral talks, in return for suspending enrichment.