West's sanctions not to affect Iran

Thursday, Feb 23,2012, 8:36:05 PM

The Iranian Supreme Leader, Seyyed Ali Khamene'i, downplayed the West's sanctions against Iran and emphasized that Iran will continue its nuclear programme for peaceful purposes.

Khamene'i made the statement, addressing a group of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization officials on 22 February. Iran's main state-run news channel IRTV1, broadcast parts of Khamene'i's speech in its 1030 gmt news bulletin on the same day.

"Embargoes and political pressures will not affect us, as the nation has decided to resist. When a nation believes in divine support and in its own internal capability and talents, nothing can stop it," Ayatollah Khamene'i said.

He said the West used the nuclear programme just as an excuse. "Since when has the nuclear programme been an issue in Iran? However, embargoes date back to 30 years ago. Why did they impose embargoes on us at the time we did not have any nuclear programmes? The problem is that they are opposing and confronting a nation that wants to be independent and does not want to be oppressed," Khamene'i said.

He stressed that "having nuclear weapons does not make a country powerful, because the powers that have nuclear weapons, face most difficult problems now".

"They have dominated the world by means of the nuclear threat. This threat is no longer useful at all. We would like to say that we are not after nuclear weapons and do not regard nuclear weapons as authority. And we can defeat nuclear authority based on nuclear weapons," the Supreme Leader added.

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