Iran nuclear program: Supreme Leader Khamenei’s remarks on nukes from 2003 to 2014

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has voiced his opposition to nuclear weapons on several occasions during the last decade. The following are excerpted remarks in reverse chronological order.

“Even now that reason – including religious and political reason – has made it clear that the Islamic Republic is not after nuclear weapons, American officials bring up the issue of nuclear weapons whenever they address the nuclear issue. This is while they themselves know that not having nuclear weapons is the definite policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

      April 9, 2014 in a speech to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran

“We are against nuclear weapons not because of the U.S. or others, but because of our beliefs. And when we say no one should have nuclear weapons, we definitely do not pursue it ourselves either.”

            Sept. 17, 2013 in a meeting with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders

“Nuclear weapons are neither a #security provider, nor a cause of consolidation of political power but rather a threat to both. The events of the 1990s proved that possessing such weapons would not save any regimes including the Soviet Union. Today as well, we know countries who are faced with fatal torrents of insecurity, despite having nuclear bombs.

“The bitter irony of our time is that the U.S. government has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and is the only government that has used them, while it bears the flag of anti-nukes struggle!”

Aug. 30, 2012

“We do not possess a nuclear weapon and we will not build one, but

we will defend ourselves against any aggression, whether by the U.S. or the Zionist regime, with the same level [of force].”

            March 20, 2012 in a speech marking Nowruz, Persian New Year

“Nuclear weapons are not at all beneficial to us. Moreover, from an ideological and fiqhi (juridical) perspective, we consider developing nuclear weapons as unlawful. We consider using such weapons as a big sin. We also believe that keeping such weapons is futile and dangerous, and we will never go after them.”

            Feb. 22, 2012 in a speech to nuclear scientists

“Islam is opposed to nuclear weapons and that Tehran is not working to build them.”

February 2010 at a ship-christening ceremony

      “The Iranian people and their officials have declared times and again that the nuclear weapon is religiously forbidden in Islam and they do not have such a weapon. But the western countries and America in particular through false propaganda claim that Iran seeks to build nuclear bombs which is totally false and a breach of the legitimate rights of the Iranian nation.”

June 4, 2009 in a speech marking the 20th anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s death

“Even though the Iranian nation does not have an atomic bomb and keeps no intention to possess the deadly weapon, the world acknowledges that it is a dignified nation because the dignity of the nation has emerged from its resolve, faith, good deed and bright goals.”

Sept. 9, 2007 in a speech to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders

Iran “is not, and the westerners know it well, after a nuclear weapon, because it stands contrary to the country’s political and economic interests as well as Islam’s statute.”

            Jan. 18, 2006 to Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov’s visiting delegation

“No sir, we are not seeking to have nuclear weapons… [to] manufacture, possess or use them, that all poses a problem. I have expressed my religious convictions about this, and everyone knows it.”

Nov. 5, 2004 in a Friday sermon

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, based on its fundamental religious and legal beliefs, would never resort to the use of weapons of mass destruction,” Khamenei said recently. “In contrast to the propaganda of our enemies, fundamentally we are against any production of weapons of mass destruction in any form.”

The clock is ticking on a nuclear deal with Iran. The deadline is July 20. An unprecedented coalition of eight Washington think tanks is hosting three discussions on the pivotal diplomacy to coincide with the last three rounds of talks. The first event — “The Rubik’s CubeTM of a Final Agreement” — on May 13 will explore the 10 disparate issues to be resolved and the many formulations for potential solutions.

The coalition includes the U.S. Institute of Peace, RAND, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Arms Control Association, the Center for a New American Security, the Stimson Center, the Partnership for a Secure America, the Ploughshares Fund, and staff from the Brookings Institution and the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies.


9:30- 9:35 AM: Welcome

Ambassador William Taylor

Vice President, Center for Middle East & Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace

9:35- 10:15 AM: Moderated Panel Discussion

Robert Einhorn

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State

Alireza Nader

RAND Corporation and author of Iran After the Bomb

 Joe Cirincione

President of the Ploughshares Fund

Colin Kahl, Moderator

Center for New American Security and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

By Iran Primer


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