Iran's president on Tuesday rejected a year-end deadline set by Washington for Tehran to accept a U.N.-drafted deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel, and stressed his government is now "10 times stronger" than a year ago. The international community can give Iran "as many deadlines as they want, we don't care," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech to thousands of supporters in the southern city of Shiraz.
According to the AP, the Iranian leader dismissed the threat of sanctions, saying Iran wants talks "under just conditions where there is mutual respect." "We told you that we are not afraid of sanctions against us and we are not intimidated," he said, addressing the West. "If Iran wanted to make a bomb, we would be brave enough to tell you."
"This nuclear game thing is an old story, it's history now," the Iranian leader said, as the crowd cheered: "We love you, Ahmadinejad." He lashed out at Washington, vowing Iran will stand up against U.S. attempts to "dominate the Middle East."
Ahmadinejad also spoke about Iran's continued political turmoil since the June election. "The people of Iran and the government of Iran are 10 times stronger than last year," he said. "I want the whole world to know it's impossible for Iran to allow the United States to dominate the Middle East."