Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led a chorus of defiant Iranian criticism of new UN sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic in the wake of yesterday's UN Security Council(UNSC) meeting, saying they deserved to be "thrown in the dust bin."
"These resolutions are not worth a dime for the Iranian nation," he said. "I gave one of them (world powers) a message that the resolutions you issue are like a used hanky which should be thrown in the dust bin. They are not capable of hurting Iranians."
The UN Security Council slapped a fourth set of punitive measures on Iran, hoping to persuade Tehran to curb its suspect nuclear programme through broadened military and financial sanctions. The vote in the 15-member council was 12 in favour of the US-drafted resolution, with Lebanon abstaining and Brazil and Turkey voting against.
World powers led by Washington suspect Tehran's nuclear drive, especially its uranium enrichment programme, is aimed at making atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying it is pursuing nuclear technology purely for the peaceful goal of generating electricity.
Ahmadinejad, under whose presidency Iran has aggressively pursued its nuclear programme, lashed out at world powers in a speech in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. "Those who have atomic bombs, have used them, stored them or threatened others with them, keep issuing resolutions against us under the pretext that Iran might build an atomic bomb in the future," he said.
Tehran's envoy to the UN atomic watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Iran will not halt uranium enrichment despite the new sanctions. "Nothing will be changed. We'll continue without any interruption our enrichment activities under the full scope of IAEA safeguards... and the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)," Soltanieh told reporters in Vienna after the sanctions were adopted. "Even a second enrichment activity will not be suspended," Soltanieh said, referring to Iran's recent move to enrich uranium to a higher level of 20 percent purity. "What happened today in New York was another dark chapter of mistakes and miscalculations" by Western nations, Soltanieh added. Uranium enrichment is a process that can be used not only to make fuel for nuclear energy, but also the fissile core of an atomic bomb.