Ahmadinejad: Sanctions begin 'battle' against Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president says the West has begun a "heavy battle" with Iran by tightening sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, however, insists that Iran "will not retreat one iota" from its right to a peaceful nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad's comments were reported by the official IRNA news agency on Thursday. They come two weeks after a total oil embargo imposed by the European Union and banking sanctions by the U.S. went into effect against Iran for its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment activities.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.