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    Iran's path to greatness through defiance of West - Ahmadinejad

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    Iran's president said on Wednesday that the country would gain "a greatness that is 100 times more precious than nuclear energy," if it withstands pressure from the West over its nuclear program.

    TEHRAN, November 21 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's president said on Wednesday that the country would gain "a greatness that is 100 times more precious than nuclear energy," if it withstands pressure from the West over its nuclear program.

    "Confronting those who speak in the language of aggression... is more important than the possession of know-how in the nuclear sphere," said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a rally at Ardebil, a city in the north east of Iran.

    Ahmadinejad also said that "If even the U.S. could not impose its will on us in this situation, then other states will have even less of an ability to do so," he added.

    A number of countries, particularly the United States, suspect Iran's uranium enrichment program of being geared toward nuclear weapons development. Tehran has consistently denied the accusations, saying it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes.

    The Islamic Republic is currently subject to two sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its defiance to halt uranium enrichment. A further round of tougher sanctions has been blocked by Russia and China.

    Ahmadinejad said the Iranian people had the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

    "Today we have mastered the energy of the peaceful atom and no one can deprive us of it. Iran is a member of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and carries out its nuclear activities in accordance with international norms and under IAEA control," the Iranian president said.

    Ahmadinejad also said Iran was prepared to hold talks on its controversial nuclear program with any country except Israel.

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