Khamenei: We don’t seek to build nukes

Iran's supreme leader said Saturday that his country was not seeking nuclear weapons, but that if Tehran intended to build them, the US couldn't stop it.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, also rejected direct talks with the US over its nuclear program despite the pressure of sanctions. "We believe nuclear weapons must be abolished and we have no intention of building" such weaponry, Khamenei said in remarks posted on his website, www.khamenei.ir.

But the supreme leader added: "If Iran had the intention to build nuclear weapons, the US could in no way stop the Iranian nation."

The supreme leader said Tehran would hold talks with the US if Washington respects Iran's rights instead of resorting to bullying. "They want to deny the Iranian nation of its definite and inalienable right to uranium enrichment and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Of course, they won't succeed," Khamenei said.

Addressing a group of Iranians at his home in the capital, Tehran, Khamenei also scolded President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his conservative rivals for factional fighting, saying they should unite rather than quarrel at a time when the West was stepping up sanctions on Iran.

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