Zarif says nuclear bombs won’t augment Iran’s security

July 17, 2019 - 20:59

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected the allegation that Iran has nuclear bomb ambitions, saying acquiring nuclear weapons would not augment Iran’s security.

In an interview with BBC HardTalk’s Zeinab Badawi broadcast on Tuesday, Zarif said If Iran wanted to build nuclear weapons it would have built it a long time ago.

“We do not want to build the bomb because we believe that a nuclear bomb will not augment our security,” he maintained.

“If the Europeans are serious about a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, there’s somewhere else that they need to be looking and that’s Israel where they have at least 200 nuclear warheads,” he said.

On the possibility of a war between Iran and the U.S. under President Donald Trump, Zarif said, “I accept that President Trump does not want war but I know that there are people in his administration who are crazy with war who search for war.”

“I don’t think I need to mention, the President Trump himself has mentioned,” he said when the BBC reporter asked if he meant U.S. national security adviser John Bolton.

On a recent downing of an American drone by Iranian military in the Persian Gulf, he said, “We are protecting our territorial waters.”

“It is the Persian Gulf because it is next to our border. It is a body of water that Iran has protected. Iran has maintained the security and freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz,” he said, adding, “We will continue to do that. We are the major power in that region. Those who have come to our region, to the Persian Gulf, and brought their naval vessels to the Persian Gulf are not helping secure these body of waters.”

On the possibility of military accidents, the foreign minister said, “Of course there is possibility of accident but we cannot leave our neighborhood.”

“Those who have come from outside have to decide why are they in that neighborhood and whether their presence in that neighborhood is helping the stability and security in that neighborhood.”

“If there is a war then I do not think anybody will be safe in our region but let us all try to avoid war,” Zarif reiterates.

Zarif also said the U.S. is engaged in an economic war against Iran and that certain countries help the U.S. in its war against the Islamic Republic.

“There are countries that are providing the United States with logistical supports with the reconnaissance, that means that they are participating in that war,” he added.

“If there is a war then I do not think anybody will be safe in our region but let us all try to avoid war,” he reiterated.

Zarif also pointed to the British government’s illegal seizure of Grace 1 supertanker carrying Iranian oil in the Strait of Hormuz, saying, “First of all, there are EU sanctions against buying Syrian oil, not against selling Syrian oil [selling oil to Syria].”

“That’s part of the international shipping lanes we were going through that but we announced from the very beginning that this ship was not destined to Syria,” he added.

The BBC reporter asked more information about the exact destination of the tanker, to which Zarif responded that it was going to a place in the Mediterranean other than Syria.

“Their objective was to bring our oil sales to zero that is why we will do whatever we can to avoid the United States knowing what we are doing,” he said. “The United Kingdom, by taking our ship, by confiscating our ship, is helping the United States imposing its illegal oil sanctions against Iran.”


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