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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran Defiant On Nuclear Program

TEHRAN, Iran -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday vowed to push ahead with Iran's nuclear program, saying the West is trying to stop it to prevent Iran from emerging as a world power.

The comments came a day after the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency issued a strongly critical report that could trigger new sanctions.

The report said the country has expanded its uranium enrichment program in defiance of UN demands for a suspension, warning that the watchdog's knowledge of Iran's activities was shrinking.

In a speech to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, Ahmadinejad ruled out any temporary suspension, saying, "The enemy is applying its ultimate capabilities against Islamic Iran, which will be useless. With the support of the Iranian nation, we do not fear the enemy's hyperbole and psychological warfare," according to state-run television.

The comments appeared to be a reference to U.S. military exercises that began this week in the Gulf.

Experts from the United States and five other powers leading efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear program plan to meet within the week to consider the next steps after Wednesday's report by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran insists the program is peaceful, aimed only at developing energy, and has touted the program as a sign of its technological prowess.