Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday said that any United Nations Security Council sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme would only serve to further "motivate" the nation.
"We have been under sanctions for the past 27 years and these things will therefore have no impact, but just lead to more motivation of the Iranian youth," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Varamin, south of Tehran.
The president was referring to scheduled Security Council sanctions against the Islamic state for having violated resolution 1696 calling on Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment.
Reiterating that Iran would not retreat from the country's right to pursue nuclear technology, the ultraconservative president said: "The Iranian nation will stay united against any discrimination and give a very decisive reply to any actions trying to limit its rights."
Ahmadinejad accused the US and Britain of having opposed Iran for over 50 years and said the two states wanted to exploit the country's oil, and "they want to deprive us of our own natural resources (uranium)".
"Wherever these two countries get involved, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon or Palestine, the situation gets worse," he added.
Ahmadinejad did not in his speech refer to last week's expansion of uranium enrichment with the operation of a second 164-machine nuclear centrifuge cascade, used to enrich uranium hexaflouride gas for nuclear fuel.
Iran rejects international claims that it is seeking to build an atomic bomb and insists on its right to peaceful nuclear technology under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Also Monday, state news agency IRNA reported the Iranian parliament had evaluated the UN draft resolution on possible sanctions against the country.
A spokesman told IRNA the parliament's foreign policy and national security commission had studied the draft resolution and termed it as "completely political and without any legal basis".
Kazem Jalali said the commission would in due course decide how to proceed in the event sanctions were imposed.
The Iranian parliament, dominated by pro-Ahmadinejad conservatives, has several times warned that if sanctions were approved by the UN Security Council against Iran, the government would be legally obliged to stop inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).