TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Monday said Iran will not back down on its right to peaceful nuclear technology and will continue its progress in line with its present and future needs.
"Like other issues, the Islamic Republic will not back down on the nuclear right and will continue to march forward on the basis of the country’s present and future expediencies,” Ayatollah Khamenei told members of the Assembly of Experts here.
"Based on the interests and needs of the country, it will even go as far as 60 percent enrichment if it is needed.”
The Leader said what prevents the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons is the Islamic way of thinking and its principles, which prohibit production of nuclear or chemical weapons used to massacre ordinary people.
Referring to the massacre of 220,000 innocent people in the U.S. nuclear bombardment of two Japanese cities during World War II and bombardment of Yemeni people, their markets, hospitals and schools by Western-made warplanes, the Leader said, "Massacring civilians and innocent people is the way of Americans and Western countries, but the Islamic Republic does not believe in this method and, therefore, never thinks about nuclear weapons.”
"In the meantime, that international Zionist clown, who keeps saying that ‘we will not allow Iran to build nuclear weapons’, must know that if the Islamic Republic had any decision to produce nuclear weapons, he and those bigger than him could not prevent it,” the Leader said, apparently referring to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the nuclear issue is a pretext for the enemies of the Islamic Republic.
"They are even opposed to us having access to conventional weapons, because they want to strip Iran of the components of power,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei warned that Western powers want to make Iran reliant on their assistance for nuclear energy, so that they can take advantage of our need as a means for bullying and extortion.
"However, we are determined to acquire nuclear capabilities proportionate to the country’s needs and this is why the level of Iran’s enrichment will not remain limited to 20 percent and the country will take action to any extent that it needs.
"For example, to achieve nuclear propulsion or for other purposes, we may even increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent purity,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"Of course, a contract has been signed for several years. If they comply with it, we will also comply until those several years are over, but Western countries are well aware that we do not seek nuclear weapons,” the Leader added.