| GEO World|
| Iran defiant on nuclear rights as Putin warns against attack|
| Updated at: 0058 PST, Saturday, September 12, 2009|
TEHRAN: Iran on Friday stood firm against intense new international pressure over its disputed nuclear programme, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned the West against staging an attack.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted that Iran must defend its right to nuclear power as world powers demanded urgent talks with Tehran on its nuclear drive and Washington insisted there was nothing in its new proposals.
"We must stand firm for our rights. If we give up our rights, whether nuclear or other rights, this will lead to decline" of society, said Khamenei, who has the final say in all national issues.
"We will walk the path of decline if instead of using freedom for scientific and ethical progress, we use it to spread sin, instead of standing against arrogance, aggressors and international looters, we feel weak in front of them and retreat, and instead of frowning at them we smile at them."
He spoke two days after Tehran delivered a new package of proposals to six world powers to help resolve the stalemate over its atomic drive.
The so-called P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- are to seek an urgent meeting with Tehran, Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said.
She said the six would meanwhile continue to examine the latest proposals from Tehran, with which they still wanted "substantive negotiations."