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Iran Ignores U.N. Uranium Enrichment Deadline; U.S. Pushes for Sanctions

The United States is pushing the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran for ignoring a deadline to halt uranium enrichment, but not until EU negotiators meet with Iran next week. Margaret Warner reports from Tehran.

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  • MARGARET WARNER:

    At Friday prayers in Tehran today, defiance. "Death to America," the crowd chanted, a rousing warm-up for the powerful Iranian government figure and hardest of hard-liners, Ayatollah Ahmed Janati.

    AYATOLLAH AHMED JANATI, Iran (through translator): The Islamic republic said, "We are ready to talk." We said, "Don't threaten us; we are ready to negotiate, but we are not going to forego our rights." However they judge us, let's not worry about it. If we were to be influenced by global public opinion, why did we have a revolution in the first place?

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    The cleric said the outcome of the recent Lebanon conflict proved Iranians need not fear the United States.

    AYATOLLAH AHMED JANATI (through translator): Muslims must learn that you, too, can stand up against the enemy. The house of Israel is shakier than a spider's web; the same applies to America. If America stands against us, they will suffer the same defeat as the Israelis.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    The ayatollah's summary of the Iranian position, a day after the United Nations deadline, was echoed by worshippers in the largely loyal crowd.

    MOHSEN GHASSEMI, 25, Student (through translator): The nuclear program that Iran is involved in is totally peaceful, and we are convinced that this will not lead to a war. There is mischief, but this is nothing new. These threats have been in existence for more than 26 years.

    FATIMA SHUKRI, 27, Iranian Citizen (through translator): We have already declared and explained the goals of the government, what we want to do, and we have tried to explain it very clearly. And from then on, it's not important what the world says.

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