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Iran’s Khamenei says ‘nothing wrong’ with nuclear deal with West

12 June 2023 09:04 (UTC+04:00)
Iran’s Khamenei says ‘nothing wrong’ with nuclear deal with West

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday a nuclear deal with the West is welcome as long as the country’s nuclear industry infrastructure “is not touched”, Azernews reports, citing Turkish media.

"There is nothing wrong with the agreement (with the West), but the infrastructure of our nuclear industry should not be touched," Khamenei said during a meeting with senior officials of Iran’s atomic nuclear agency and nuclear scientists on the sidelines of an exhibition on Iran’s nuclear achievements in Tehran.

His remarks come amid heightened tensions between Iran and Western countries over the country’s nuclear program and a significant increase in uranium enrichment.

The talks aimed at the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, from which the US unilaterally withdrew in May 2019 and under which Iran was supposed to limit its uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent, remain stalled since last August over key disagreements between Tehran and Washington.

Khamenei dismissed claims about Iran developing a nuclear bomb as a “lie”, saying Tehran does not want it “based on our religious beliefs.”

He accused the West, in particular the US and its European allies, as well as the UN nuclear agency of “not keeping promises”, adding that the experience Iran gained was “not to trust their words.”

Khamenei stressed that Iran has over the past 20 years “understood who to trust and who not to”, noting that the country was hit because of “misplaced trust.”

He commended Iranian scientists for their contribution to the country’s nuclear industry, saying the industry was developed “despite sanctions and threats and killings of scientists”.

Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed over the past two decades, which Iranian authorities have blamed on Israel. The last one to have been killed was Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020.

Khamenei said cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should continue “within the framework of safeguards regulations”, while adding that the parliamentary law that called for scaling up uranium enrichment in early 2021 must also not be violated.

Under the law, which was passed after the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, Iran gradually ramped up its uranium enrichment, which has now reached up to 60 percent purity.

Khamenei’s remarks came a day after Iran’s nuclear agency chief Mohammad Eslami said the country is enriching uranium on a higher scale to force the West to lift sanctions.

He dismissed concerns over Iran's nuclear proliferation, saying the main goal is to convince or force Western countries to lift sanctions reinstated by the former US administration after leaving the deal.

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