Iran not seeking a nuclear weapon: Supreme Leader

DUBAI Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:04pm IST

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Hamid Forootan/ISNA/Files

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Hamid Forootan/ISNA/Files

Related Topics

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran does not want nuclear weapons but if it did, no world power could prevent it from obtaining one, Iran's Supreme Leader said on Saturday, according to Iranian media.

The United States and some of its Western allies suspect Iran may be trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a civilian atomic energy programme, a charge Iran rejects.

Iranian officials have said in the past that a religious decree by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banning nuclear weapons is binding on the Islamic Republic, and Khamenei has repeatedly said Iran is not seeking an atomic bomb.

"We believe nuclear arms must be eliminated and we don't want to build nuclear arms," Khamenei said on Saturday morning, in comments published by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).

"But if we did not believe this and decided to have nuclear arms, no power could stand in our way," he added.

The United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany are due to meet Iran for talks in Kazakhstan on February 26 to tackle a decade-old row that has already produced four rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran.

Separate talks between Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency this week failed to produce a deal on reviving an investigation into Iranian research that could be used to produce nuclear weapons.

Israel, widely assumed to be the region's only nuclear-armed power, has said is ready to take military action to stop Iran developing a bomb, raising fears the standoff could escalate into a war.

(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TALIBAN ATTACKS

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong protests approach potential National Day flashpoint.  Full Article 

Seeking Reassurance

Seeking Reassurance

Amid differences, Israel's Netanyahu to seek reassurances from Obama on Iran.  Full Article 

Ebola in U.S.

Ebola in U.S.

Traveler from Liberia is first Ebola patient diagnosed in U.S  Full Article 

Fighting IS

Fighting IS

Australian aircraft to support U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq - PM.  Full Article 

Frustrated PM

Frustrated PM

Turkey, frustrated with West, clings to fading vision for the Middle East.  Full Article 

Indonesia Politics

Indonesia Politics

President manages hopes as hostile parliament convenes  Full Article 

Security Breach

Security Breach

U.S. lawmakers rebuke Secret Service over White House breach  Full Article 

Palestinian Occupation

Palestinian Occupation

Jewish settlers occupy Palestinian homes in Old City's shadow  Full Article 

Ebola Chronology

Ebola Chronology

Worst Ebola outbreak on record tests global response  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage