Iran: no nuclear ambitions?

Iran never strove to possess nuclear weapons, because the use of such weapons runs counter to the religious convictions and political strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, reads a statement released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, which the Iranian embassy distributed in Moscow on Friday.

In the past few days, some of the Russian media published unconfirmed reports about the possibility of Iran getting hold of nuclear weapons. "We deem it necessary to remind you that Tehran considered microbiological and chemical weapons as banned as early as Iraq's war against Iran of 1981-1988," the statement reads. "We are consistent in our opinion that weapons of mass destruction must be banned," the statement quotes Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying.

On his part, Iranian President Mohammad Khattami has announced that "there is no place for nuclear weapons" in Iran's defence and military doctrine, because Iran's political structure "cannot afford the use of such weapons in accordance with its Islamic and moral principles."

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