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Iran warns West over 'new sanctions'

world Updated: Jun 13, 2007 17:44 IST

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday shrugged off the West's criticism of Tehran's controversial nuclear program and said that eventual new UN sanctions would not harm Iran.

Speaking to a crowd of several thousand supporters in the city of Semnan, 235 kilometers southeast of Tehran during a two-day provincial trip, the Iranian leader stuck to his belligerent rhetoric.

"This nation will punch its intimidators in the mouth," said Ahmadinejad, in a reference to US-led group of Western nations that have chastised Iran over its uranium enrichment. His speech was broadcast live on state television.

"You, the West, have to know that your resolutions will not be worth a red cent for the Iranian nation," added Ahmadinejad.

The UN Security Council is preparing to debate a third set of sanctions against the Islamic republic in response to Tehran's continuing refusal to suspend the enrichment, which can produce fuel for civilian energy or fissile material for a bomb.

Referring to two previous rounds of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, Ahmadinejad said they had no negative impact on his country and reiterated that Iran would not give in its right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology under any circumstance.

The prospect of a third set of sanctions appeared more likely after senior Iranian envoy abruptly cancelled talks on Monday with the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency, dashing hopes that the country is ready to end its secrecy about past suspicious nuclear activities.