Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that Iran would press ahead with its nuclear plans and that a UN resolution imposing sanctions on Iran was "invalid."
"The Iranian nation is wise and will stick to its nuclear work and is ready to defend it completely," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech to a rally in the southern city of Ahvaz. "The UN resolution against Iran's atomic work has no validity for Iranians."
The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Dec. 23 to impose sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology to stop uranium enrichment work that could produce material that could be used in bombs.
Ahmadinejad said "bullying powers" could not deprive Iran of its right to nuclear technology.
"Even if all powers who stood behind [former Iraqi president] Saddam Hussein during the sacred defense war are resurrected again against Iran, the Iranian nation will give them an historic slap on the face," Ahmadinejad said in a speech, accompanied by "Death to America" chants.
"The resolution lacks validity and is completely political and unlawful," he told the cheering audience.
"It is a political resolution adopted under pressure from the US and Britain, although the content of the resolution is not very significant," Ahmadinejad said.
"[The resolution] was adopted with two objectives. Firstly, to create psychological war and propaganda against Iran and also to give an opportunity to scare some people inside the country under the pretext of a hollow resolution," he added.
Also yesterday, Israel announced it will test, for the UN, an underground installation in the Negev desert designed to monitor any attempt by Tehran to test nuclear devices, the daily Yediot Aharonot reported.
The test will consist of three strong explosions Israel will deliberately set off in the northern Negev using 15 tonnes of liquid explosives, to see how they register on equipment at the underground site.
Each blast will be equivalent to a seismic tremor of 2.4 on the Richter scale, the report said.
The facility is equipped with seismographs and other equipment able to detect earth tremors and transmit the data directly to the International Atomic Nuclear Agency (IAEA) in Vienna via Israel's nuclear research facility at Nahal Sorek, the paper said.
The new underground testing center is in the mountains near the Red Sea beach resort of Eilat.
"The station will assess earth tremors, and ways to predict them and other underground and surface activity, such as nuclear tests," the paper quoted Rami Hofshteter of the Lod Geophysics Institute near Tel Aviv as saying.
He added that "recent nuclear tests in India and Pakistan were recorded perfectly" at the Negev site.