Source: Tehran Times
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the country will not take even a single step back in its efforts to pursue nuclear technology.
Rouhani made the remarks in Tehran on Sunday during a ceremony at the headquarters of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, during which three nuclear achievements in the health sector were also unveiled.
The president said the claims about Iran conducting "secret activities" are "blatant lies" and added that if the Islamic Republic wanted to conduct secret nuclear activities, it would not attempt to purchase centrifuges on global markets.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said that the enemy had sought to give the world the impression that Iran was not able to develop nuclear technology and made efforts to humiliate the Iranian nation.
"We wanted to tell the world that our access to nuclear energy is real, and we can even produce 20 percent fuel if necessary," the president added.
"All Western, Eastern, and 5+1 countries should be aware that the path we have chosen is a correct path. We will not stop or take one step back in nuclear technology," he stated.
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), are holding negotiations on the terms of a final comprehensive deal on the country's nuclear program.
The two sides clinched an interim six-month deal in November in which Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear activities in return for an easing of sanctions. Under a final agreement, all nuclear-related sanctions will be gradually lifted.
Iran has nothing to offer to the world in the nuclear talks except more transparency, Rouhani said.
"We will prove to the world that our actions have been within the framework of the law, and Iran has never sought to obtain a nuclear weapon," he added.
"The Iranian nation does not regard nuclear weapons as legitimate, and years ago the Supreme Leader explicitly issued a fatwa in this regard."
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa declaring that the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are all haram (prohibited in Islam).
Rouhani also stated that if the world wants to have friendly relations with the people and government of Iran, it should acknowledge the Iranian nation's rights.
"Once again I tell the world that our actions are peaceful, and we are pursuing our nation's interest," he added.
Rouhani also said that anything that prevents Iran from acquiring its legitimate rights is not acceptable, and added, "We will not surrender to nuclear and scientific apartheid."
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