Ahmadinejad: Iran Ready for Standoff With West Over Nukes

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran was prepared for any possibility in the standoff with the West over its controversial nuclear activities — a tough reaction to a U.S. military buildup in the Gulf meant as a warning to Iran.

"Today, with the grace of God, we have gone through the arduous passes and we are ready for anything in this path," state-run television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying Thursday.

Ahmadinejad also denounced critics of his nuclear diplomacy at home, saying that they will not affect his government's handling of the nuclear issue with the West.

Conservatives and reformists have in recent weeks openly challenged Ahmadinejad's hard-line nuclear diplomacy tactics, with many saying his provocative remarks are doing more harm than good.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, an allegation Tehran denies.