Ahmadinejad, who is seeking a second term in the June 12 election, stirred thousands of supporters at a packed indoor stadium in Tehran by touting Iran's nuclear technology gains and vowing to keep his aggressive anti-West stance.
"The Iranian nation will not accept domination from oppressive powers," said Ahmadinejad, dressed in his trademark light-colored jacket and dark trousers as young men and women chanted "Ahmadi! Ahmadi!" "We have to build an Iran that will have a role in directing the future of the world," he said as the crowd screamed "Ahmadi, the hero who supports the poor, who is the pride of the young!"
Ahmadinejad said he had deflected pressures from the West and from groups inside Iran to abandon the controversial nuclear program during his current four-year term.
"We have buried the sanctions in the cemetery of history," he said, referring to the three sets of sanctions levied against the Islamic republic by the UN for not halting its uranium enrichment program.
"Only eight or nine countries can enrich uranium, and we are one of them," he said.
He criticized the previous government of reformist Mohammad Khatami, saying its "policy of detente ... led to closure of nuclear facilities" in Iran.
Referring to Israel, Ahmadinejad said the nation must remember the way Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic revolution, talked of enemies.
"They are like dogs. If you attack them, they retreat; if you retreat they attack," Ahmadinejad recalled Khomeini as saying.
The president has enraged the international community with his sustained anti- Israel stance.
His anti-Israel salvo triggered a zealous reaction from the crowd, which screamed "Ahmadinejad, who lives a simple life, will destroy the Zionists!"