Khamenei rejects ‘nonsense’ accusation Iran seeking atomic bomb


Staff member
Khamenei rejects ‘nonsense’ accusation Iran seeking atomic bomb
Supreme leader insists nuclear research is for peaceful purposes to produce energy; senior Iranian negotiator at Vienna talks says parties are ‘closer than ever’
By Agencies and TOI staff
17 February 2022

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader vowed on Thursday that his country would ramp up the development of its civilian nuclear program, as major world powers continued delicate talks in Vienna to revive Tehran’s landmark nuclear deal. In a televised speech, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed the importance of nuclear energy for Iran, while again asserting that it had no interest in nuclear weapons, saying any claim otherwise was “nonsense.” Khamenei’s remarks seemed clearly aimed at the countries involved in the Vienna talks.

“Enemies are making cruel moves against our nuclear energy issue, (putting) sanctions on nuclear energy that they know is peaceful,” he said. “They do not want Iran to achieve this great and significant progress.” The accord, which former US president Donald Trump abandoned nearly four years ago, granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its atomic program. Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, tweeted late Wednesday that the parties were “closer than ever” to an agreement.