He said Iran would link its oil trade and other economic business with individual countries based on their support for Tehran in the international standoff over its nuclear activities.

"We don't want the path to become more difficult. But if you want to use the language of force, Iran will be left with no choice, in order to preserve its technical achievements, to get out of the framework of the NPT and out of the framework of the additional protocol, and resume enrichment," Larijani said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a news conference in Tehran that coincided with efforts by Britain, France and Germany to bring Iran before the UN Security Council over "breaches" of international atomic safeguards.

Language of humiliation

"If, in the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), they want to talk to us in the language of humiliation, threat or introduce the so-called trigger mechanism or take it to the UN Security Council, we will revise our stance on the additional protocol (to the NPT) and enrichment," Larijani said.

Iran says its nuclear programme
is for peaceful purposes 

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only and says civilian nuclear fuel work is a right enshrined in the NPT.

"If you want to pressure beyond the NPT and take it to the Security Council, you will not gain anything and only make trouble for yourselves," he warned.

The additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty allows unfettered inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities if it is referred to the UN Security Council.

Western diplomats in Vienna said that a US-backed European Union resolution calling for referral could be introduced at the current session of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board meeting, but any vote could be postponed to a later meeting of the 35-nation IAEA board.

Draft resolution

Britain, Germany and France, negotiating on behalf of the 25-nation European Union, have begun drafting the language of a resolution demanding Iran be referred to the Security Council.

But Europeans face opposition from other members of the IAEA board of governors, which opened a meeting on Monday to discuss Iran's nuclear programme.

"The Europeans have been trying to humiliate the Iranians. Do not doubt that enrichment is a national desire"

Ali Larijani,
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council

Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said the EU-3 was trying to "humiliate" Iran by demanding it abandon nuclear fuel technology.

"The Europeans have been trying to humiliate the Iranians. Do not doubt that enrichment is a national desire," Larijani said, referring to demands by the EU-3 that Iran give up nuclear fuel as the best "objective guarantee" the clerical government will not seek nuclear weapons.

Country’s pride

"We will not accept excessive pressure. They cannot play with a country's pride," Larijani said, comparing the nuclear crisis to Iran's struggle to nationalise its oil industry from British control in the 1950s.

"This government will do its utmost to defend Iran's right," Iran's top nuclear negotiator said. "The Europeans keep telling us of this big giant - the UN Security Council. But this will not mean the end of the Iranian people."

"I remind them of the North Korean case: after two years they accept North Korea's right to enrichment. They should do the same with us."