Iran's supreme leader says his country will continue to pursue nuclear
technology despite demands by Western powers that it suspend its
uranium enrichment program.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments Wednesday to Iranian state media.
There is a Saturday deadline for Iran to accept an incentive package offered by the United States and five other world powers (Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany).
Iran - already subject to three rounds of sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council - risks additional penalties if it fails to offer a definitive response.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Tuesday urged Iran to accept the package.
Earlier this week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran wants to seek "common ground" with Washington on the nuclear issue.
Mr. Ahmadinejad made those remarks in an interview Monday with a U.S. media outlet, the NBC television network.
The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of working to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.