There would be neither surrender nor compromise by Iran with regard to pursuing its nuclear path, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.
"The Iranian nation has just started its scientific and technological movement and will neither surrender nor compromise under any threat, and (instead) decisively pursue this path," the ISNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
Iran has to reply by Thursday to UN Security Council resolution 1696 to either accept suspension of uranium enrichment or face possible sanctions.
"The Iranian nation has taken its final decision and will not retreat from it," the president added.
Ahmadinejad plans to hold a press conference Tuesday in Tehran to proclaim officially Iran's final reply to the UN ultimatum.
Meanwhile, Chief Nuclear Negotiator Ali Larijani had earlier declared Iran's readiness to talk even with the US over the nuclear dispute.
"I would like to reiterate here once again that we are anywhere and anytime ready to hold fair and constructive talks on all bilateral issues, including the nuclear issue, with the Five Plus One at foreign ministry level," Larijani was quoted by ISNA as saying.
The Five Plus One consist of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, which includes the US, plus Germany.
If it agrees, Iran would for the first time attend a meeting at which US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is present.
Larijani had said Sunday that Iran considered uranium-enrichment suspension as a red line it was not prepared to cross and that it would continue with nuclear fuel production.