We believe that nuclear weapons must be obliterated, and we do not intend to make nuclear weapons, but if we had not had this belief and had decided to possess nuclear weapons, no power could have ever been able to stop us.” Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali KhameneiLeader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called for the destruction of nuclear weapons across the world, saying Iran never plans to build such arms. “We believe that nuclear weapons must be obliterated, and we do not intend to make nuclear weapons, but if we had not had this belief and had decided to possess nuclear weapons, no power could have prevented us,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in an address to thousands of clerics, officials and people of the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz on Saturday. The US, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of seeking to produce an atomic bomb under the cover of its nuclear energy program, a claim Iran has categorically rejected. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2012, US President Barack Obama said, “A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained," adding “The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Reflecting on the US offer of direct talks with Iran, the Leader said Washington is using the media network which is under the influence of the Zionists and the Americans, to deceive the public opinion in the world, region and Iran. Ayatollah Khamenei added that the global media network either does not reflect the truth about Iran, or distorts the truth.
The Leader stated that Washington proposes negotiations “to show to the Muslim and proud nations of the region that despite all its tenacity and steadfastness, the Islamic Republic of Iran has finally come to the negotiating table; therefore you have no other choice but to surrender as well.”Ayatollah Khamenei said from the Western point of view, the real meaning of negotiation is to accept what they say, adding that they want to negotiate with Iran to make it give up its nuclear program while “they need to hear our reasoning if they are after logical talks.” The Leader noted that the US claim that it would lift sanctions on Iran if the country comes to the negotiating table was a “false promise.” “In fact, this promise is one of [the United States] deceitful remarks, which shows that they are not after real and fair negotiations, but seek the surrender of the Iranian nation,” the Leader added. On February 2, US Vice President Joe Biden said his country was ready to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear energy program. Only four days later, the US government imposed new sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. The sanctions aim to prevent Iran from gaining access to crude export revenues. The Leader also criticized Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a recent row during the impeachment of the labor minister. Ayatollah Khamenei said that leveling accusations by the head of one branch of the government against the other two, the legislative and judicial branches, over an “unsubstantiated document” is unlawful and in violation of the rights of the Iranian nation. On February 3, Iran’s Majlis voted to dismiss Labor and Social Affairs Minister Abdolreza Sheikholeslami over his failure to remove Saeed Mortazavi from his post as the head of the Social Security Organization. During Sheikholeslami’s open impeachment session, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad played a tape showing a meeting between Mortazavi and Fazel Larijani, the brother of the Majlis speaker. The video purportedly showed Fazel Larijani attempting to use his family’s political status for financial gain. Fazel Larijani has declared that he would file a lawsuit against Mortazavi and President Ahmadinejad for what he called an intrusion of privacy. The leader also criticized the Majlis speaker for overreacting to the accusations pressed by the president. Ayatollah Khamenei also said the very idea of impeachment at Majlis for a reason that did not relate to the minister was wrong. The Leader stated that Iranian officials must work to set aside differences and resolve domestic problems. The Leader further pointed to the Iranian nation’s high turnout in the rallies held across the country to mark the 34th anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and said economic problems did not lead to a separation between the people and the Islamic establishment. SF/AR/HSN/MA/SS