Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
DUBAI- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that Western expectations for the Islamic Republic to limit its missile program were "stupid and idiotic".
The Supreme Leader also called on the country's Revolutionary Guards to mass-produce missiles.
The United States and its allies have said they are worried about Iran's missile program as they fear the weapons could carry nuclear warheads. Iran has long denied having any plans to develop atomic weapons.
"They expect us to limit our missile program while they constantly threaten Iran with military action. So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation," Khamenei was quoted as telling the IRNA news agency while on a visit to an aeronautics fair by the Revolutionary Guards.
"The revolutionary guards should definitely carry out their program and not be satisfied with the present level. They should mass produce. This is a main duty of all military officials," Khamenei said.
Earlier on Sunday it was revealed that the UN nuclear watchdog plans talks with Iran on Monday ahead of a May 15 deadline for the country to implement a series of measures that could allay concern about its nuclear program.
News of the meeting came after diplomatic sources told Reuters on Friday that the International Atomic Energy Agency was seeking further clarification from Iran about one of those steps, concerning information about detonators that can help set off a nuclear device and Tehran is believed to have developed.
Iran says it has already implemented the seven steps agreed by the two sides - including access to two uranium sites - but the sources suggested the IAEA still wanted more information about the so-called Explosive Bridge Wire (EBW) detonators.
How Iran responds to questions about its development and need of this type of equipment is seen as an important test of its willingness to cooperate fully with an IAEA investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by the country.
Iran says allegations of such work are baseless, but has offered to help clear up the suspicions with the UN agency.