Iranian flag
Iranian flagIsrael news photo: Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Senior Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said on Friday that Iran is already a nuclear state and that Americans have not realized that.

“The United States says it will not allow Iran to be nuclear, but it is so blind that it hasn’t noticed that Iran has already become a nuclear state,” Khatami was quoted by Channel 10 News as having said. He added that the U.S. has become isolated in the region, after its four “slaves” were removed from power. He was referring to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, former Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi, former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Khatami also addressed the EU’s embargo on Iranian oil imports, which was announced this week, and said that the Europeans decided to wait with the implementation of the sanctions until July because their economic situation is no better than Iran’s.

“Why did the Europeans decide to wait half a year before implementing the sanctions? The answer is simple - the Europeans have their own serious trouble - they were hit by the financial crisis,” he said.

Khatami added the embargo will hurt Europe more than it will hurt Iran, because Saudi Arabia will not be able to provide the required amount of oil to Europe, while the sanctions will only hurt 18 percent of Iran’s oil exports. 

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)