TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that Tehran will continue to pursue nuclear technology, state television reported.

Khamenei’s declaration came on the eve of Iran’s self-imposed August 22 deadline to respond to a Western incentives package for it to roll back its nuclear program. The United Nations has given Tehran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment.

The supreme leader’s remarks also came the day after Iran’s armed forces tested surface-to-surface missiles Sunday in the second stage of war games near its border with Iraq.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has made its own decision and in the nuclear case, God willing, with patience and power, will continue its path,” Khamenei was quoted as saying by the broadcast.

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Meanwhile, Turkey’s supply of Iranian natural gas is interrupted due to an explosion; from AME Info: “Iran has stopped the flow of natural gas to Turkey according to a report on the Dow Jones Newswires. An Iranian gas industry official said the decision had been taken due to an explosion on the Turkish side of an international pipeline. It was only revealed earlier this week that Iran intends to supply gas to Europe via Turkish pipelines and has plans to increase flow rates.”  The region’s governor, Halil Ibrahim Akpinar, said separatist Kurds were suspected of carrying out an attack on the pipeline, but there is no definitive word on whether the explosion is the result of a terrorist attack.

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