Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Iran has no interest in pursuing nuclear weapons since obtaining them would be a violation of a religious edict imposed by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a top Revolutionary Guards officer said on Wednesday.
The remarks were made by Brigadier General Hossein Salami during a defense conference at a Tehran university.
Salami said that Iran will instead seek to develop its arsenal of precision-guided missiles that minimize civilian casualties.
“This edict is a principled, moral position before it is a technical one,” Salami said.
Salami said that while the United States “speaks loftily about security and global development, it remains our worst, most vicious enemy.”
Salami accused the West of using innovative means to disseminate “inappropriate films” whose goal is to “destroy the world’s moral fabric, which will in turn lead to a collapse of global security.”
The deputy commander went on to accuse the West of bolstering their military arsenals all the while combining their might with “diplomatic barbarism.”
“They are moving further away from the values of God, which will ultimately lead to their demise,” Salami said.
Iran’s enemies lack any appreciation for human life, the officer said.
“The gravest threat to Iran today is having its young people being influenced by the ideas and the culture of the enemy,” he said.
Salami said that while Iran is working to bolster its military capabilities, it is also making efforts to prevent “foreign influence” from seeping into the country.
The next round of Iran nuclear talks will be "pretty tough," a senior US official told reporters on Wednesday ahead of a new round of negotiations including political directors from the seven nations involved.
"As we expected after Lausanne, the next portion of this process will be pretty tough because we will be getting down to the details," the official said. Iran and six major powers reached a framework nuclear agreement on April 2 in Lausanne and are seeking to strike a comprehensive deal by June 30.Reuters contributed to this report.