TEHRAN – Iran’s nuclear work will defiantly go on, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, after UN inspectors left Tehran following talks that failed to lift their suspicions of atomic weapons research.
“The Iranian nation has never been seeking an atomic weapon and never will be. It will prove to the world that a nuclear weapon cannot create supremacy,”Khamenei told Iranian nuclear scientists, according to a government statement.
“The path of scientific development, particularly the nuclear field, should continue strongly and seriously,” he said. “Pressure, sanctions, threats and assassinations will not bear any fruit and Iran will continue its path of scientific development,” Khamenei said. The forceful restatement of Iran’s longheld position came after a five-strong delegation from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency left empty-handed following two days of talks focusing on suspected military aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme.
The delegation’s leader, UN chief nuclear inspector Herman Nackaerts, said on arrival in Vienna that, although it had “approached this trip in a constructive spirit,” no agreement with the Iranians on elucidating worrisome activities was forthcoming.
“We could not get access” to Iran’s military site in Parchin where suspected nuclear warhead design experiments were conducted, according to a November IAEA report, Nackaerts said. No further talks were arranged, he added, contradicting Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, who was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying discussions “would continue.”
“We could not formalise the way forward. We will now report to the (IAEA) director general and later to the board of governors,” Nackaerts said. – Agencies