TEHRAN, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated Saturday that the Islamic republic is not after building nuclear weapons.
Khamenei was quoted by local Press TV as saying Iran has "no intention to build nuclear weapons."
"We believe that nuclear weapons (in the world) must be obliterated, and we do not intend to make nuclear weapons. But if.. . we had decided to possess nuclear weapons, no power could have prevented us," he said.
The remarks is significant against the backdrop of a new round of nuclear talks between the Islamic republic and the so-called P5+ 1 group (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany) that will start on Feb. 26 in Kazakhstan.
In February 2012, Khamenei said his country considers seeking and acquiring nuclear arms as a "sin."
On Saturday, an Iranian lawmaker said the Iranian nation will not retreat from its "peaceful" nuclear rights despite the unfair pressures and sanctions, according to Press TV.
Seyyed Hossein Naqavi-Hosseini, spokesman for Iran's Majlis ( parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, urged the P5+1 to show its determination to achieve results in the upcoming nuclear talks.
Iran and the West are locked in a bitter dispute over its nuclear activities, with the latter accusing Tehran of developing nuclear weapon under a civilian cover, a charge Iran has consistently denied.
Meanwhile, Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani said Tehran's nuclear issue could be resolved if world powers entered negotiations "seriously."
Rouhani told reporters Friday that "Iran has always said that it is ready to hold serious negotiations," and that the issues between Iran and the West, whether nuclear or otherwise, must be resolved through dialogue.
"When the West is increasing pressure and at the same time is talking about negotiations, then negotiations mean surrender," he was quoted as saying.
"If negotiations are serious and based on mutual understanding, there is no need to take such tough actions," he said, adding that if the West sought to make the Iranian nation surrender, it would never achieve its goal.
Also, Rouhani ruled out the likelihood of military confrontation between Iran and the United States, saying that Tehran and Washington could iron out the existing problems in a " win-win" alternative, Press TV reported Saturday.
"If the Americans show honesty and they are ready to resolve the problems between the two countries, a win-win game is possible, " said Rouhani.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out the possibility of striking Iran's nuclear facilities. The Islamic republic has threatened that it will retaliate if its nuclear establishments are hit.
On Friday, Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaei, criticized the recent remarks by the UN chief on Iran's nuclear program, saying that Ban Ki-moon's "biased stance" is against international principles, according to Press TV.
In an interview with the Washington Post on Friday, the UN chief stated that Iran would "use talks as a cover to build a bomb. "
The UN Security Council must "show a firm, decisive and effective, quick response," Ban added.
It was "unfortunate" that Ban had adopted a stance "in contradiction to his duties and against international principles" on the nature of Iran's "peaceful" nuclear energy activities, Khazaei said Friday.
TEHRAN, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran's nuclear issue could be resolved if world powers entered negotiations "seriously," Tehran Times daily reported Saturday.
Rouhani told reporters here Friday that "Iran has always said that it is ready to hold serious negotiations," and that the issues between Iran and the West, whether nuclear or otherwise, must be resolved through dialogue. Full story
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday urged Iran to make "real offers" and engage in a "real dialogue" in the upcoming nuclear talks with world powers, saying this is the only way to make progress.
"I want to reiterate that these talks can only make progress if the Iranians come to the table determined to make and discuss real offers and engage in a real dialogue," Kerry said in a press conference alongside visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before their meeting. Full story
TEHRAN, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast rejected the recent remarks by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal that Iran planned to make a nuclear bomb as "unfounded," Press TV reported Thursday.
According to the report, Saudi foreign minister raised concerns over Iran's nuclear activities on Tuesday, saying that Iran had plans to make a nuclear bomb. Full story