Speaking a day after it became clear that the UN Security Council would take up Iran's nuclear case, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said onThursday that Tehran would not be bullied or humiliated.
"They [Western countries] know that they are not capable of inflicting the slightest blow on the Iranian nation because they need the Iranian nation," the semi-official ISNA students news agency quoted him as saying in a speech in western Iran.
"They will suffer more and they are vulnerable."
A senior Iranian security official had said on Wednesday that Iran could inflict "harm and pain" to match whatever punishment Washington persuaded the Security Council to mete out for Iran's refusal to heed calls that it halt atomic fuel research.
Iran says it wants to master nuclear fuel cycle technology to feed atomic reactors generating electricity. Washington and its allies believe that it wants nuclear fuel to make atomic bombs.
Some Iranian officials have said that if pressed further over the nuclear case Tehran could restrict its oil exports to push prices even higher.
They have also hinted that Iran could use its influence with militants in regional trouble spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine to stir up trouble for the United States and Israel.
"Our enemies will never succeed in forcing the Iranian nation to step back on its rights over peaceful nuclear technology because it never accepts humiliation"
"Our enemies will never succeed in forcing the Iranian nation to step back on its rights over peaceful nuclear technology because it never accepts humiliation," state television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying on Thursday.
"This nation ... will not allow others to treat it with a bullying attitude, even if those who treat it with a bullying attitude are international bullies."
ISNA said Iranian MPs chorused "Death to America" on Thursday in response to Iran's case being sent to the Security Council.