Tehran Does Not Seek Nuclear Weapons, Iranian Foreign Minister Says
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a phone call on Sunday that his country does not seek nuclear weapons. “Nuclear weapons have no place in the doctrine of the Islamic Republic of Iran and are contrary to our policies and beliefs,” Amir-Abdollahian told the UN chief, according to the ministry’s website. “The supreme leader’s fatwa about the use of nuclear weapons is clear for everyone,” he said.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in October 2003 issued an oral fatwa, a religious decree, banning the possession and use of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, but since then there has been much debate about the fatwa’s existence, authenticity, meaning, sincerity, and authority.
Amir-Abdollahian told the secretary-general that Iran was ready to cooperate in the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
Predictably, he said the outcome of ongoing negotiations in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal depended entirely on Washington adopting the “necessary flexibility and realism in practice” to reach an agreement.
A new round of talks to revive the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), began in Vienna on Thursday after a five-month hiatus. The talks were first restarted in April 2021 after US President Joe Biden took office and expressed interest in a renegotiated JCPOA, from which former President Donald Trump withdrew US participation. But the talks were suspended in March 2022 due to differences between Tehran and Washington.