TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday hit back at George W Bush after his latest warning against Iran, saying the US President could not hurt "even one centimetre" of the country. The Iranian leader also refused to back down over nuclear programme, days ahead of a trip to Tehran by the EU foreign policy chief in search of a compromise in the crisis. Ahmadinejad openly mocked what he said was Bush's desire for military action against Tehran, amid increasing tensions over its nuclear drive which Western countries fear could be used to make a nuclear weapon. "I tell Bush ... that your era has ended and thank Allah you will not be able to damage even one centimetre of the holy land of Iran," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in the city of Shahr-e Kord. "If the enemy thought they could break the Iranian nation with pressure they are wrong. The Iranian nation... will wipe the smile off its face," he added to chants of "Death to America" from the crowd. "The enemy has used all its capabilities in politics, nuclear and military pressures and has absolutely failed," he added. Using typically earthy rhetoric, Ahmadinejad said that Bush was still "itching to pinch and punch the Iranian nation." Iran will not trade its "dignity" in its nuclear programme, Ahmadinejad said, in an apparent refusal to consider the main demand of world powers over his country's nuclear programme. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will visit Tehran on Saturday and Sunday in an effort to convince Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday. "But the Iranian nation will leave them waiting for Iran to back down and the enemies will never reach this goal." Meanwhile, after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Meseberg, Bush backed Europe-led diplomacy to convince Iran to abandon its suspect nuclear drive but warned he has not ruled out using force. "My first choice of course is to solve this diplomatically. All options are all the table, but the first choice is to solve this problem by working closely together," he said. Merkel said diplomatic pressure had already shown signs of paying off, highlighted international cooperation in squeezing the Islamic republic and warned Tehran would face more sanctions if it rejects the incentives plan. "If Iran does not meet its commitments, further sanctions will have to follow," she said. "If you look at the situation in Iran then you see that these efforts could be successful but that also requires the international community to act in a unified manner, that means in the European Union as well as at the UN Security Council." Bush met Merkel as part of what he has proclaimed his last trip to Europe before he steps down in January, a voyage that began in Slovenia Monday and takes him to Italy, the Vatican, France, and Britain. Bush urged Germany to step up its commitments in Afghanistan, and said there was little he would have done differently in Iraq. The unpopular president predicted that Washington and Baghdad would strike a deal on the continued presence of US forces in Iraq after the UN mandate lapses at year's end. But he angrily denounced "erroneous" news reports that he seeks permanent US military bases. There were no anti-Bush demonstrations here but several political officials in Berlin, including leading figures from Merkel's own conservative party, said he would not be missed. "The disaster after the war in Iraq caused serious damage to the image of the United States, and not just in Germany," the foreign policy spokesman for the Christian Union's parliamentary group, Eckart von Klaeden, said.