Iran will never abandon its right to nuclear technology, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday hours before a UN watchdog was expected to report Tehran had defied a deadline to halt atomic work.
"The Iranian nation will never abandon its obvious right to peaceful nuclear technology," state radio quoted him as saying in the northwestern town of Mahabad.
"Iran is determined to use peaceful nuclear technology."
Iran has said it has a legal right to enrich nuclear fuel, which it says it will use to make electricity.
The West suspects a disguised weapons project and the UN Security Council has ordered it to suspend the work.
"Global arrogance (the West) is against Iran's peaceful nuclear progress. Their pretext and claim is that Iran's peaceful nuclear knowledge might be diverted one day. It is a big lie," he said in comments carried by the official IRNA news agency.
"Iran has never been, is not and will not be an aggressor and violator of others rights. But they should know that the Iranian nation will not yield to threats and pressure," he said.
Washington says world powers are poised to begin discussing punitive measures next week against Iran if, as expected, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports Tehran has ignored the UN demand to stop enriching uranium by August 31.