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Iran Hopes Religious Edict Will End Questions of Nuclear Program

Iran hopes a religious decree banning nuclear weapons will be enough to lessen international pressure and sanctions.
By Annie Lubin
First Publish: 1/15/2013, 3:43 PM

Contents of a truck bound for Iran loaded with materials for it nuclear program
Contents of a truck bound for Iran loaded with materials for it nuclear program
Reuters

As international sanctions continue to take their toll on the Iranian economy, it seems like the regime in Tehran will say anything to lessen the diplomatic pressure against its alleged nuclear weapons program.

That said, Iran's supreme leader on Tuesday issued a religious decree banning nuclear weapons, claiming the decree is binding for the government and should be enough to end the barrage of questions and accusations about Iran's nuclear program.

Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's edict bears great weight and that the West must realize the significance of it, saying, "there is nothing higher than the exalted supreme leader's fatwa to define the framework for our activities in the nuclear field."

"When the highest jurisprudent and authority in the country's leadership issues a fatwa, this will be binding for all of us to follow," he added.

A new round of talks between Tehran and U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, are set to begin tomorrow and Iran is hopeful the religious edict will sway the international community in their doubts about Iran's nuclear program.