Tehran: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei Wednesday insisted that his country is not seeking an atomic weapon, following an unsuccessful visit to Tehran by UN
nuclear watchdog officials.
"We are not after an atomic weapon. We want to break the
supremacy (of the world powers) that relies on nuclear
weapons. God willing, the nation will reach this goal," he
told a meeting with Iranian nuclear scientists, according to
an official government statement.
"Despite what the enemy (the West) says, nuclear energy
is directly linked to our national interests," Khamenei said,
urging the scientists to "continue the important and
substantial" nuclear work.
Khamenei's reiteration of Iran's longheld stance came
after a five-strong delegation from the UN's International
Atomic Energy Agency left Tehran empty-handed following two
days of talks focused on suspected military aspects of Iran's
The UN nuclear inspector heading the team, Herman
Nackaerts, said on his return to Vienna the Iranians had not
permitted the team to visit a military site in Parchin where
apparently non-peaceful activities had been detected.
He also said "we could not formalise the way forward,"
signalling that the delegation left with no further talks
The IAEA delegation was to submit its report, "then we
will have to see what are the next steps," Nackaerts said.
First Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 16:35