Rouhani Criticizes US Nuclear Strategy, Insists on Developing Deterrent Weapons

Rouhani Criticizes US Nuclear Strategy, Insists on Developing Deterrent Weapons

Monday, 5 February, 2018 - 11:30
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Reuters
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized Sunday the US administration's strategy to develop new low-yield atomic weapons in the framework of its deterrent policy against nuclear threats.

“The Americans are shamelessly threatening Russia with a new atomic weapon,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

“The same people who supposedly believe that using weapons of mass destruction is a crime against humanity are talking about new weapons to threaten or use against rivals,” he added.

"How can they then say this is a time of peace, brotherhood and coexistence, and we don't need defensive power? We will always be in need of a defensive power."

Rouhani also announced Tehran's refusal to negotiate with any foreign party over its "defensive" capabilities, stressing the continuation of Iran's weapons program as part of its deterrence policy against foreign threats.

"Our nation and authorities do not and will not need to negotiate with anyone or reach a deal with any power over their defensive capabilities," he said.

"Our national power is for peace, we gain power for deterrence. Deterrence is the same as dignified peace. We should be ready to remove and thwart threats against the people," he said.

Rouhani said Iran was ready to answer any possible questions but stressed that the country would not negotiate over its defense capabilities.

"If any authority comes and asks a question, we will give a firm and strong answer. Our response is clear. But we will procure any weapon or capability which we need within the framework of rules and regulations and the fatwas of our leader," he added.

Rouhani reiterated that Iran is not after weapons of mass destruction according to a fatwa by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Rouhani spoke about the importance of the legitimacy of defense in parallel with the Iranian weapons program, in an implicit reference to the Iranian opposition to the regime's adopted policies on regional and international levels.

“You will not be able to explain that the other party is attacking and we are defending. We did not start any war, and we want to defend our land, our people, our dignity and our independence,” Rouhani said.

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