Zarif: We don't seek nuclear weapons

Iranian Foreign Minister claims his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, accuses US of "economic terrorism".

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, which its supreme leader had banned in an edict.

In a post on Twitter, Zarif further claimed that US policies, which he described as “economic terrorism”, were hurting the Iranian people and causing regional tensions.

“Ayatollah (Ali) @khamenei_ir long ago said we’re not seeking nuclear weapons—by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them. (U.S.) Economic Terrorism is hurting the Iranian people and causing tension in the region,” he wrote.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal in May of last year and has since then imposed two rounds of sanctions against Iran.

In response, Iran announced recently it would reduce some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, though it would not quit the deal completely.

Last week, the Islamic Republic said it quadrupled its uranium-enrichment production capacity, though Iranian officials made a point to stress that the uranium would be enriched only to the 3.67% limit set under the 2015 deal, making it usable for a power plant but far below what's needed for an atomic weapon.

Tensions have increased between the US and Iran in recent weeks after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East in a show of force against what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the region.

Trump announced on Friday that the US will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops.

While Trump has urged Iran’s leaders to talk with him about giving up their nuclear program, he has also made clear he could not rule out a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.

On Monday, Trump said that Iran would be met with "great force" if it attempted anything against US interests in the Middle East, though he stressed he was willing to have talks with Iran "when they're ready."