Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, but if it wanted to, no country could stop it from doing so.
Ali Khamenei wrote on his own website saying, "We believe that nuclear weapons must be eliminated. We don't want atomic weapons", and went on to say that if Iran intended to have such weapons, no country could stand in its way. On Thursday he rejected direct talks with the United States while it was pointing a gun at Iran. Western sanctions must be lifted and the West must respect what they say is Iran’s right to a nuclear program monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, before any talks can take place.
Iranian oil sales have been reduced by half as a result of the international pressure on Iran, and restrictions on financial transactions and transportation have created many difficulties for Iran’s leaders. Consumer prices have increased, and the national currency has fallen sharply. Still, shops are fully stocked, restaurants are serving customers, and the construction of buildings and roads continues. Ayatollah Khamenei said, as quoted by Thomas Erdbrink's report for The New York Times, that the United States and all its allies are naïvely think that Iran has been exhausted by the sanctions and will therefore yearn for negotiations.
"Dominant powers tried to take control of all nations and countries throughout the world by using force, money and weapons and by launching military attacks. They tried to make nations believe that they cannot find the path towards greatness, identity and independence without relying on superpowers and on those who have money and power - Zionist and non-Zionist companies have lined up behind them. You shattered their hopes", Ali Khameini in his speech to Iran's Air Force Commanders and Personnel.
He further underlined that for more than thirty years the enemies of Iran have done everything in their power to harm the nation by provoking conflicts, waging hard and soft wars, supporting the enemy of the Islamic Republic. "They fought the people of Iran as hard as they could, but our people stood up against them. They made use of everything they could. They hatched plots, launched coup d'états, provoked military conflicts, shot down passenger airliners, imposed heavy sanctions and increased them on a daily basis. They did these things in the hope that our people would lose their hope, disappear from the scene and lose their trust in Islam and the Islamic Republic. But they failed. This is the record of the Islamic Republic", he said.
He went on saying that negotiations are meaningful when the two sides negotiate with good intentions and without planning to deceive one another. Negotiations should be on equal terms. "You yourselves refer to this as pressures and negotiations. These two things are not compatible. You want to point the gun at the people of Iran and say 'negotiate or we will shoot!'. You say these things to intimidate the Iranian nation. You should know that the Iranian nation is not intimidated by these things", he addressed the United States.
Ali Khameini then compared the Iranian nation today with nations who have been under the domination of American power. "See where you are and where they are. With movement, independence, self-confidence and reliance on God, the Iranian people proved that one can and should stand up against the domination of foreigners and those who seek domination", he said.