Supreme Leader: Iran Must Not Give in to 'Threats and Bribes'
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has declared that the Islamic republic must not give up its "scientific goals" in the face of "threats and bribes". "We have achieved a lot of scientific goals, and this is a resource that our late imam had saved for us," Khamenei said in a speech marking the 17th anniversary of the death of Iran's Islamic revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
"This is a historic investment. It represents our political independence and national self confidence. It is due to the bravery of our people and officials, and we should not sell out this precious resource because of the enemies' threats and we should not be fooled by enemy bribes," he said Sunday. READ MORE
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on Thursday agreed to present Tehran with a package of incentives and the prospect of fresh multilateral talks on the condition that Iran first suspends uranium enrichment.
That activity is at the centre of fears the country could make nuclear weapons. Iran insists it only wants to make reactor fuel -- and not bombs -- and that enrichment is a right enshrined by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"There is no consensus against Iran. It is only the Americans and some of their allies," Khamenei said, asserting that Iran had won support from members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement.
"This is all about a political monopoly of energy. They want others to beg for energy," he fumed.
"American and Zionist propaganda claims that Iran is a threat to the world. But everyone knows that Iran is no threat to anyone. We have friendly relations with all the region and Asia. We have good and healthy relations with Europe, and in the close future, because they need our gas, these relations will become even better," Khamenei reasoned.
"They accuse us of developing nuclear bombs. This is an absurd lie. We do not need nuclear weapons and bombs. We don't have any target to use them on. Using nuclear weapons is against Islamic rules," he said.
"We will not impose the costs of building and maintenance of nuclear weapons on our people. Our explosive source is the power of our faith."
He also fired off a staunch warning against the United States.
"You threaten Iran. You say you want to direct energy in the region. If you make a single mistake about Iran, the supply of energy will definitely be put in serious risk," added Khamenei.
Iran is OPEC's second producer.
"In Iraq, you failed. You say you have spent 300 billion dollars to bring a government in office that obeys you. But it did not happen. In Palestine, you made all attempts to prevent Hamas from coming to power and again you failed. Why do you not admit that you are weak and your razor is blunt," he insisted.
"We do not want war... but you should know that whoever threatens our interests, they will see the sharpness of our wrath."