Iran won’t retreat “one iota” from its nuclear program but the world is being misled by claims that it seeks atomic weapons, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday in his first reaction since a U.N. watchdog report that Tehran is on the brink of developing a warhead.

Ahmadinejad strongly chided the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, saying it is discrediting itself by siding with “absurd” U.S. accusations.

“This nation won’t retreat one iota from the path it is going,” Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in Shahr-e-Kord in central Iran. “Why are you ruining the prestige of the (U.N. nuclear) agency for absurd U.S. claims?”

The 13-page annex to the IAEA’s report released Tuesday included claims that while some of Iran’s activities have civilian as well as military applications, others are “specific to nuclear weapons.”

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