Iran‘s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told military commanders on Sunday the United States had created the “myth” of nuclear weapons to portray Iran as a threat, hardening his rhetoric before nuclear negotiations resume this week. Reuters report:
Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, has supported the talks but continues to express deep mistrust of the United States.
“They created the myth of nuclear weapons so they could say the Islamic Republic is a source of threat. No, the source of threat is America itself, with its unrestrained, destabilizing interventions,” Khamenei said in a televised address to a hall of several hundred military commanders.
“The other side is methodically and shamelessly threatening us militarily … even if they did not make these overt threats, we would have to be prepared,” he said. Iran and six world powers including the United States reached a framework accord on Iran’s disputed nuclear program this month and will resume negotiations in Vienna this week, aiming to reach final deal by the end of June.
The accord was a step towards a settlement that would allay Western fears that Iran could build an atomic bomb, with economic sanctions on Tehran being lifted in return.