Iran’s top leadership has pledged there will be no compromise in its nuclear dispute with the West. Speaking the day after it became clear the UN Security Council would take up the case, Iran’s ultimate decision-maker Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged officials not to give in. He said if they step back on nuclear energy now, it will not be the end of the story and the United States would find what he described as another pretext.
Meanwhile, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would not be bullied. Yesterday a senior official warned that the Islamic state could inflict “harm and pain” to match whatever punishment Washington persuaded the Security Council to mete out. On the streets of Tehran there was little support for heeding international calls to stop atomic fuel research. “Sending Iran’s nuclear case to the Security Council should have been prevented through diplomacy,” said one man. “Sanctions should not be imposed because they are not a good thing. The first message of the Security Council is sanctions, the last would be war.” Another man said: “In my opinion they would be mostly political consequences rather than economic because we are already under sanctions from the United States and their allies.” The Security Council takes up the case next week. It is expected to first issue a statement urging Iran to comply with resolutions by the UN nuclear watchdog that it halt all uranium enrichment activities.