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Iran Refuses to be Bullied by US Over Nuclear Program


Iran says it will not be bullied by the United States over its controversial nuclear program and dismissed the threat of United Nations Security Council action.

In a televised speech Tuesday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran will not accept decisions by the Council that are against the country's interests.

He also said Iran is willing to hold talks with the U.S. on Iraq if Iranian officials can make U.S. officials understand some issues about Iraq, but not if the discussions allow Washington to bully Iran.

The ayatollah spoke hours after President Bush said he is open to talks, saying U.S. officials would show Iran - as he put it - "what's right or wrong" with its alleged activities in Iraq.

Mr. Bush also stressed that Iran must understand it cannot be allowed to make nuclear weapons, for the security of the world.

The United States, Russia, China and the so-called EU-3 - Britain, Germany and France - have failed to agree on how to press Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities and comply with international standards. That lack of agreement forced the postponement of today's scheduled Security Council meeting on Iran.

The United States suspects Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon - a charge Tehran denies.

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