Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected as “ridiculous” a report by the website of Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly claiming that Tehran is helping Syria build nuclear weapons.
Speaking at a Sunday news conference with visiting Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in Tehran, Zarif said such claims are part of a scaremongering campaign targeting the Islamic Republic’s peaceful nuclear work, paving the way for adopting wrong policies vis-à-vis Syria.
In an article published on Friday, Der Spiegel claimed that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is making efforts to build nuclear bombs, adding that Damascus may be getting assistance from the Islamic Republic to produce nuclear arms.
The top Iranian diplomat further described the claims as “ridiculous” and said such reports are aimed at inciting fears and promoting Iranophobia in the international community.
Iran has repeatedly voiced opposition to the possession of nuclear weapons either on its soil or anywhere else in the world, said Zarif, adding that Tehran favors the removal of all nuclear arms as they are to the detriment of everyone.
“Based on the fatwa by Leader [of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei], we have never been and will never be after nuclear weapons,” added the Iranian foreign minister.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran strongly rejects the allegations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says it needs the nuclear program for peaceful purposes, including generating electricity and producing radio-isotopes for medical purposes.