Iran's Supreme Leader Grand Ayatllah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that tougher economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic will not induce it to withdraw its nuclear program. Quoted by the Fars news agency, the statements were made as Iranian officials held talks with European diplomats in Istanbul.
In a meeting with state officials, Khamenei said, “They (the enemies of Iran) explicitly say that by intensifying the pressure and the sanctions, they are seeking to force Iranian officials to reconsider their calculations. But in reality, we will not rethink our calculations, and we will continue to trod the path of the Iranian nation more resolutely.”
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He added, that the "resistance front" led by the US and Israel continues to weaken and that Iran's enemies will not dare attack it.
Western leaders believe that intensifying pressure and sanctions on Iran will lead the Iranian regime to suspend its nuclear program and enter into negotiations with the six powers. However, it appears the Iranian leader is not planning to budge.
Khamenei claimed that the only parties profiting from the sanctions are the US and "the Zionist regime" and estimated that the "rest of the countries" will not support tougher sanctions.
Also Tuesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is defiantly forging on with its controversial nuclear activities by activating hundreds more uranium enrichment centrifuges.
"There are currently 11,000 centrifuges active in enrichment facilities" in Iran, he was quoted by state media as saying late on Tuesday in a meeting with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior regime officials.
Meanwhile, it appears that the economic pressure is taking its toll on Iran. Several ministers held a closed meeting with the central bank governor on Wednesday to discuss the state of the economy.
AFP contributed to this report
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