LONDON. Britain led calls on Thursday for harsher penalties to be imposed on Iran, as Tehran defied a compromise U.N. sanctions resolution to punish it for its suspected nuclear weapons program.


The Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions in as many years on Wednesday, but Iran said it would go ahead with uranium enrichment.


Iran’s envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog in Vienna said the sanctions would not undermine a nuclear program it insists is for purely civilian purposes. “Nothing will change. The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue uranium enrichment activities,” Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said sanctions were “the same as pesky flies.” “These resolutions have no value ... it is like a used handkerchief that should be thrown in the waste bin,” he added.