Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that the Islamic Republic would not step back on its path to develop nuclear programs.
A senior Iranian official ruled out any freeze in uranium enrichment on Saturday, rejecting a central demand of major powers at talks on its nuclear programme attended for the first time by a senior US official.
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator expressed hope for "good and constructive negotiations" as he left Tehran on Friday for a meeting in Geneva with world powers on the country's disputed nuclear programme.
China will send a senior diplomat to attend international talks on the Iranian nuclear issue in Geneva on Saturday.
Iran said on Tuesday it would continue enriching uranium, defying efforts by major powers to pressure Tehran into stopping work which the West fears could lead to building a nuclear bomb.
US President George W. Bush said on Wednesday he wanted to resolve the showdown over Iran's nuclear programme peacefully, but reiterated that all options were on the table.
Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was quoted on Tuesday as warning Israel of a "very painful" response if it launched a military strike over the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear program.
The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Monday slapping stronger sanctions to press Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.Nuke Issue
Iran on Sunday warned it would hit back with a "deserving" response to new UN Security Council sanctions over its contested nuclear programme.
US President George W. Bush said Sunday that Iran was threatening security around the world by backing "extremists" and urged its Gulf Arab allies to "confront this danger before it is too late".
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday the US would not be able to bring Iran to its knees in a row over nuclear work. Nuclear Issue
Iran's first atomic power plant will start operating in mid-2008, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday, two days after the country received a second delivery of nuclear fuel from Russia.