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Ahmadinejad: Iran Will Not Back Down on Nuclear Program

Iran's president has vowed to use force against what he calls "enemies" who want to curtail his nation's controversial nuclear program.

State television reported President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments Friday, just ahead of a deadline for Iran to respond to a Western deal on its nuclear program.

The United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia have given Iran until Saturday to accept an incentives package in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment activities, or risk additional sanctions.

On Thursday, Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said no firm deadline had been set. It was not clear whether Western diplomats plan to stick firmly to Saturday's deadline.

President Ahmadinejad said Friday that his country's so-called "foes" are using the nuclear issue as an excuse to provoke Iran.

Western nations accuse Iran of enriching uranium in order to make nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran for defying international demands to suspend enrichment.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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