Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to never give up his country's nuclear development as Western powers pushed for tough Security Council action against Tehran.
"The Islamic republic will not negotiate with anyone on its absolute right to use peaceful nuclear technology. This is our red line, and we will never give it up," the president said in a statement, according to AFP. "Iran's decision to master nuclear technology and the production of nuclear fuel is irreversible," Ahmadinejad said.
He urged Western powers to "respect Iran's rights" and allow the IAEA -- and not the UN Security Council -- to deal with the case. Ahmadinejad added that "as a nuclear country, the Islamic republic is ready to discuss, alongside other nuclear powers and with all countries, how to assure world peace."
Meanwhile, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani sent a letter Saturday to Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei. In the letter, Larijani said if Iran's nuclear dossier remains within the IAEA, the country is ready to help resolve the remaining issues within the framework of the latest comprehensive report provided by the IAEA director general dated March 2006.
The letter, cited by IRNA, said Iran in the past three years has had full-scale cooperation with the IAEA and has voluntarily implemented additional protocol to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and even beyond it.
"The IAEA has supervised all our activities and installations and the country's nuclear materials have all been declared to the IAEA," he said.