The United Nations Security Council is to begin acting on Iran’s nuclear programme next week. This comes in response to a recommendation by the UN’s atomic watchdog, the IAEA. It says Tehran has not raised international confidence that its nuclear activities are peaceful, as Iran claims.However the possibility of sanctions has been dampened by the opposition ofRussia, a veto-wielding power on the Security Council. The US favours tough measures. Gregory Schulte is Washington’s delegate to the IAEA. “Rather than acting to regain the world’s confidence, Iran’s leaders are moving ahead brazenly with enrichment, continuing their determined step-by-step effort to acquire the material, technology and know-how to produce nuclear weapons,” he said. Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, had this reaction. “Iran is determined to work for a peaceful settlement and is still welcoming any positive gesture towards a peaceful settlement. But, as I said, we are warning and we are advising the other side not to make the situation worse and not to escalate the situation.” Earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struck a defiant tone at a rally. He declared he would not give in to bullying, nor abandon the rights of the nation. Tehran has said that, if the US pursues hostile action against it, Washington could come to harm and feel pain.