ANKARA Feb 16 Iran on Thursday rejected U.S.
President Donald Trump's statement that its nuclear ambitions
were a major security challenge and said its arch foe Israel was
the biggest threat to global peace.
"The Zionist regime (Israel) poses the biggest threat to
regional and international peace and security by possessing
hundreds of nuclear warheads in its arsenal," Foreign Ministry
spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by the
semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Israel, believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear
arsenal with 200 warheads, sees Iran's nuclear programme as a
threat to its existence. It refuses to confirm or deny it has
After meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on
Wednesday in Washington, Trump said the threat of Iran's nuclear
ambitions was one of the biggest security challenges facing
"The bitter irony is that such baseless allegations are
raised by the Zionist regime that is not committed to any
international regulations," Qasemi said.
Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to a nuclear accord reached
between Iran and six world powers in 2015, which he believes is
insufficient to stop Tehran developing an atomic bomb. Under the
deal, Tehran received relief from global economic sanctions in
return for curbing its nuclear work.
Trump, who has also criticized the accord, assured Netanyahu
that Tehran would never be able to build a nuclear weapon.
But Qasemi repeated Tehran's assertion that it had no such
plans, saying a nuclear weapons programme had "no place in
Iran’s defence doctrine".
"The accusations against Iran are in contradiction to
multiple reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) which have confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran’s
nuclear activities," Qasemi said.
Trump put Iran "on notice" after a Jan. 29 Iranian missile
test and imposed new sanctions on individuals and entities. Iran
said it will not halt its missile programme.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Angus MacSwan)