Iranian Parliament Speaker Larijani_311.
(photo credit:Reuters/Caren Firouz )
Iran's nuclear program is too strong to be derailed by the assassination of a few scientists, the Speaker of Iran's Parliament Ali Larijani said on Thursday, blaming arch-enemy Israel for a series of "terrorist attacks".
After the killing of a nuclear scientist in his car in Tehran on Wednesday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran issued a statement saying Israel and the United States were behind the "heinous acts" to disrupt Iran's quest for nuclear power.
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"These terrorist attacks just show how weak Israel really is. They have tried all other options, and clung onto terrorist attacks when they ran out of options to oppress Iran," Larijani told a news conference at Iran's embassy in Ankara.
"If Israel thinks they can prevent our studies with four terrorist attacks, it's a very weak way of thinking... Everybody will learn that they can't stop us with such actions," he said, referring to previous killings of key figures in Iran's nuclear program.
The US and its allies say Iran is working on producing nuclear weapons. Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes only.
Larijani reiterated that Iran wanted to hold fresh negotiations with six
world powers to resolve the dispute, preferably in Istanbul, where the
last unsuccessful round of talks took place a year ago.
Since then Iran has come under tougher sanctions from the West, with the
United States and European Union preparing measures aimed at stemming
Iran's oil revenues.
During a visit to Tehran last week, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu delivered a Western offer to Iran to renew negotiations with
the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (P5+1).
Larijani gave no hint when a fresh round of talks might take place.
Also Thursday, Iran's Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
said that those behind the
killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran
would be punished, the
official Irna news agency reported.
"We will continue our path with strong will ... and
certainly we will not neglect punishing those responsible for
this act and those behind it," Khamenei was quoted as saying.
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