Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday said his country would not beg world powers to allow Iran to have a nuclear program.
Instead, he told a crowd of thousands gathered at a shrine to mark the 18th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of 1979 Islamic revolution, that Iran would never back down from its nuclear right.
"Should the Iranian nation beg for the right of exploitation of nuclear energy from the bullying world powers until they accept that the nation has a nuclear right?" Khamenei said.
Last Mod: 04 Haziran 2007, 19:21
"No. This is not the way of a free and independent nation. ... Rights cannot be achieved by entreating. If you supplicate, withdraw and show flexibility, arrogant powers will make their threat more serious," said Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters.
Khamenei's remarks came a day after Iran said disputes over its nuclear program could be settled in the coming weeks if the U.N Security Council dropped preparations to debate another round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic and turn over its case to the International Atomic Energy Agency.