TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s supreme leader said yesterday that “excessive demands” from abroad could prompt Tehran to retreat from a recent commitment to give inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog more access to its atomic facilities.
The warning by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei comes as the International Atomic Energy Agency evaluates a dossier on Iran’s nuclear program that Tehran supplied to meet an Oct. 31 deadline to prove it is not developing atomic weapons – as U.S. officials believe.
Iran agreed last month to allow unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities and to stop enriching uranium – a process that creates fuel for nuclear plants but also can be used to build weapons.
“If parties to the talks with us or centers of global power come up with excessive demands and we feel that our interests and values are harmed, we won’t hesitate to end this trend (of cooperation),” Khamenei said in a speech on state-run television.
“Peaceful nuclear technology is our legitimate right and no country and no organization can deprive us of this right, including the right for production of our own nuclear fuel.”
Khamenei spoke before a large group of military and government officials at a party marking the daily breaking of the fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, said he will intervene to stop the Iranian government from making decisions he considers inappropriate.
“So far, nothing has been done against our principles,” he said.