Rouhani: We'll never seek nuclear weapons

Iranian President claims his country will never seek nuclear weapons, with or without a nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed on Wednesday that Iran will never seek nuclear weapons, with or without a nuclear deal.

"We have never sought nuclear weapons ... With or without the nuclear deal we will never seek nuclear weapons ... The European powers will be responsible for the consequences of violating the pact," said Rouhani, according to Reuters.

He called on European powers to avoid Washington's mistake of violating the 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with major powers.

US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

In response, Iran gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal, before announcing earlier this month that it will abandon the deal amid heightened tensions with the United States over the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Rouhani’s comments follow Britain, France and Germany’s decision to trigger the dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal that could eventually lead to reimposing UN sanctions on Iran, citing its repeated violations of the agreement.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, threatened that his country could quit the global nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if European countries refer it to the UN Security Council over the 2015 nuclear agreement.

He also said Iran could take other steps before withdrawing from the NPT, although he did not specify what those steps would be.

Zarif on the weekend ruled out the possibility of any negotiation on a new nuclear deal as the US has demanded.