During a meeting with a group of nuclear experts and officials in Tehran on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the enemies have created a nuclear challenge for Iran for 20 years because they know that progress in the nuclear industry is the key to Iran’s scientific progress.
This is a lie and they know it, said Ayatollah Khamenei, adding that “we do not want to go toward [nuclear] weapons based on our Islamic principles, and if it was not for this, they could not stop it, as they could not stop our nuclear progress so far.”
He argued that the nuclear industry is important in terms of the progress and capabilities of the country in technical, economic, health, and other fields, as it gives prestige to the country and makes life better for the people.
The nuclear industry “is important for this reason as well as in terms of the global and international political weight of the country,” he said.
“The third dimension is the spirit of national self-confidence,” the Supreme Leader noted. “This job of yours is exactly the opposite of the enemy’s movement. That is, it injects the spirit of hope, the spirit of self-confidence in the nation.”
The Supreme Leader said that parties opposing Iran’s nuclear activities are untruthful when it comes to abiding by their promises. He said governments negotiating with Iran or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have made various promises over the years, but they have failed to abide by their commitments. We found out over the past 20 years who was trustworthy and who was not, the Supreme Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran should seek to use its nuclear know-how to boost different aspects of people’s lives, adding that nuclear technology can be fruitful for many industries, including healthcare, agriculture, environment, and desalination.
He said Iranian authorities should seek to commercialize nuclear services and products so that Iran’s economy benefits from the sale of nuclear products and services in international markets.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran is now producing 1,000 megawatts of nuclear power, adding that the country should seek to reach a target of 20,000 MW in electricity generation through nuclear technology.
The Supreme Leader said, noting that it is both economical and environment-friendly for Iran to rely on nuclear power for a significant part of its electricity demand.
Ayatollah Khamenei also called on the AEOI to work on low-capacity nuclear power plants, a policy that he said has been pursued in other countries.
Earlier on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei toured an exhibition on Iran's nuclear achievements in Tehran.
The exhibition was held in Imam Khomeini Hussainia to showcase the achievements of Iranian scientists in the field of nuclear technology.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami and a number of directors and personnel of the organization accompanied the Supreme Leader on the visit.
During the visit, Eslami provided Ayatollah Khamenei with a brief report about the latest achievements of the AEOI in the field of nuclear science.