US created ‘myth’ of Iranian nuclear weapons: Khamenei


Iran’s Supreme Leader lashed out at the United States on Sunday, accusing Washington of inventing the “myth” of Tehran’s nuclear weapons threat.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also urged “defensive preparedness” for Iranian armed forces after a top US general warned last week about military action against Tehran’s nuclear sites.

The leader’s comments come a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed remarks by US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey who Thursday said, “The military option is to ensure that Iran does not achieve a nuclear weapon is intact.”

Zarif wrote off the general’s statement as an “old habit that dies hard.”

Diplomatic teams from the two countries are building on a framework nuclear deal agreed to weeks ago that paves the way to ease economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for limitations on Tehran’s nuclear development.

Iranian officials claim the country’s nuclear program is civilian in nature. Opponents of the deal fear any allowances will allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Negotiators from Iran and a group of world powers hold their next round of talks this next week in Vienna as they try to reach a final agreement by their self-imposed June 30 deadline.

The talks involve Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany.

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