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Khamenei: West would not be able to stop Iran from going nuclear

But Tehran is not trying to acquire the bomb, the supreme leader claims.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tours an exhibition in Tehran on Iran's nuclear industry, June 11, 2023. Source: X.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tours an exhibition in Tehran on Iran's nuclear industry, June 11, 2023. Source: X.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that Western powers would not be able to prevent his country from obtaining nuclear weapons.

He added, according to state media, “Accusations about Tehran seeking nuclear weapons are a lie and they know it. We do not want nuclear arms because of our religious beliefs. Otherwise, they [the West] would not have been able to stop it.”

The 84-year-old cleric spoke during a tour of an exhibition in Tehran on the country’s nuclear industry.

Khamenei also said, “There is nothing wrong with the agreement [with the West], but the infrastructure of our nuclear industry should not be touched.”

Taking to Twitter, he reiterated his stance that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons and argued that the country’s “enemies” don’t want the nuclear program to succeed because “our advancement in the nuclear industry is actually a key to making scientific progress in various fields.”

He said in a Twitter post minutes later that the regime in Tehran is opposed to nuclear weapons because they are “used to commit mass destruction. We strongly oppose mass destruction. It violates religion, and it is contradictory to Islam. That includes any type of WMD: atomic, chemical or any other possible types.”

In 2013, Khamenei said that if Israel attacks Iran, “we will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa into wastelands,” a position echoed in recent years by other Iranian officials.

On June 8, the Iranian cleric called for Israel’s destruction in a Twitter post, saying that “the only remedy is for it to perish and expire.”

On the same day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that “returning to the nuclear agreement with Iran would not stop the Iranian nuclear program and that no arrangement with Iran will obligate Israel, which will do everything to defend itself.”

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