(February 17, 2013)
Iran’s Supreme Leader says if Iran wanted to build nuclear weapons, the U.S. would not be able to prevent it.
Iranian media report that Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Iran does not intend to build nuclear weapons and this is not because of U.S. opposition but rather on the basis of a principle and belief that regards nuclear weapons as a crime against humanity.”
On Saturday February 16, Ayatollah Khamenei gave a speech saying that Iran not only insists on “not producing nuclear weapons”, it even “calls for the elimination of all existing nuclear weapons in the world.”
He stressed that those who oppose Iran’s nuclear program are “denying the firm and decisive right of the Iranian people to enrichment and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”
He accused the U.S. government of suffering from a lack of rationality and contradictions between their words and actions and a bullying attitude. “The Americans expect others to give in to their irrationality and bullying, but the people of Iran and the Islamic Republic regime will never surrender.” Western powers suspect that Iran’s nuclear program might have a military component, but Iran has continuously stated that it has no military ambitions behind its nuclear activities. The IAEA has so far found no evidence of military uses of nuclear power in Iran; however, it has also refused to say that Iran’s nuclear activities are completely peaceful.
Iran’s Supreme Leader accused the United States of trying to manipulate public perception against Iran. “They attribute inappropriate and false statements to the Islamic Republic regime and resort to pressure and sanctions against the people of Iran,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, and then they “claim they want to negotiate with Iran.”
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently announced that the U.S. is prepared to enter into direct talks with Iranian authorities.
Iran’s Supreme Leader said, however, that the offer was “a publicity stunt to say the Iranian people and regime have capitulated.”
The Iranian leader went on to say that the U.S. has attempted to begin talks on several occasions in that past 15 years, adding that a number of government officials were sent to negotiate with them. He added: “As soon as they fell short of adequate responses to the logical statements from Iran, they cut off the talks and used the international media to pretend that Iran had broken off the negotiations.”
He went on to say that now the United States is using the force of sanctions to force Iran to negotiate.
The Supreme Leader said, however: “The Islamic regime and the people of Iran, unlike American officials, subscribe to logic and rationality; therefore, if we see logical words and actions from the other party, we will respond to it appropriately.”
He called on the U.S. to refrain from “bullying” other nations and to “respect the rights of the Iranian people.”