"Today, with the grace of God, we have gone through the arduous passes and we are ready for anything in this path," Ahmadinejad said, according to Iran’s state-run TV.

The comments were in response to the US decision to send the USS Stennis to the Perisan Gulf, joining another such vessel already stationed there. Iranian media is also reporting that 3,000 centrifuges are prepared to go online.

Ahmadinejad responded to criticism from Iranians who say Iran should compromise its nuclear ambitions to avoid a conflict with the Western world and sanctions from the UN. "Unfortunately, some inside the country try to fabricate news and portray a bad image of the great achievement of the Iranian nation," he said. "[They] prescribe compromise and repeat the words of the enemy. Of course, this will have no effect. Their aim is to frighten Iran and weaken the resistance of the Iranian nation, but they will not succeed.”

Meanwhile, Mohamed El Baradei, who heads the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, said he was concerned that UN sanctions on Iran could escalate the standoff with the West and called for a resumption of negotiations.

In the eight years following the Egyptian’s appointment to head the watchdog group, it has failed to detect covert nuclear programs in three countries. It also failed to detect the “nuclear supermarket” run by the Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan.

Meanwhile, the Hashemite King of Jordan told Haaretz that his regime is also seeking to become a nuclear power. As the Hashemite regime is propped up by the West in a country that is majority Palestinian, Jordanian nukes would be only an election away from being controlled by an Islamist group, possibly Hamas.

“The rules have changed on the nuclear subject throughout the whole region,” King Abdullah II said. “Where I think Jordan was saying, 'we'd like to have a nuclear-free zone in the area,' after this summer, everybody's going for nuclear programs. The Egyptians are looking for a nuclear program. The GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] are looking at one, and we are actually looking at nuclear power for peaceful and energy purposes.”
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