Prohibited by the supreme leader’s decree, nuclear weapons are inconsistent with Iran’s defensive doctrine, the country’s UN envoy said after Tehran announced the suspension of limits under the 2015 deal.
Iran’s decision to lift restrictions on uranium enrichment – after a US drone strike killed General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport – made headlines in Western media, with some speculating that the Islamic Republic could be seeking nuclear weapons.
However, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, reassured the public that this is not the case – even though the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is now in jeopardy.
There is “no place for nuclear weapons in Iran’s defensive doctrine,” he told PBS Newshour, adding that the country is also abiding by the Non-Proliferation Treaty – a 1968 pact that aims for nuclear disarmament and sets standards for arms control.
We are not interested in having a nuclear weapon, because we have a very clear, clear-cut religious edict by our supreme leader prohibiting nuclear weapons.
Tehran has meticulously followed the provisions of the nuclear deal even, though it has received “almost nothing in return,” Takht-Ravanchi said. And while the European parties to the JCPOA (from which Tehran expected to receive benefits) “didn’t act in accordance with the deal,” Iran has chosen not to abandon it completely.
“If Iran is given the benefits of the deal, we will go back to the full implementation of it,” the ambassador stated.
Previously, Iran announced that the level of uranium enrichment will be determined by its own “technical needs.” Both Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have confirmed that international inspectors are continuing their verification activities under the nuclear deal.