( RIA Novosti ) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday fresh U.S. sanctions against Iran, imposed last week, would not affect the country's economy.
Washington introduced harsh penalties against Iran's military and state-owned banks, accusing the Islamic Republic of deceiving the UN nuclear agency currently looking into its nuclear program, which Tehran says is for civilian purposes, but the West fears is a covert weapons program.
"The Americans believe their unilateral economic sanctions can make the Iranian nation back down," Ahmadinejad said.
Ahmadinejad said Western propaganda would not hamper the Islamic Republic's development in many spheres, including civilian nuclear energy.
Tehran is under two sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment that could be used both in electricity generation and weapons production. A further round of more stringent sanctions has been blocked by China and Russia.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Iran's elite units engaged in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and supported terrorism, and Iranian banks were financing terrorist organizations.
The head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday he had no evidence Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons and warned against hostile U.S. rhetoric against the Islamic Republic.
In an apparent reference to Washington's repeated statements that it was prepared for nuclear talks with Tehran if it suspended uranium enrichment, the outspoken leader said Iran did not need talks with "the oppressor and offender."
"Iranians want to exercise their rights in full, and our enemies must know that the nation will not yield an inch in its right to nuclear energy," the president said.