JAKARTA, Indonesia, AP – An Iranian minister told Indonesia’s vice president Tuesday that his country has no plans to develop nuclear weapons because Islamic law outlaws the development of weapons of mass destruction.
Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi, Iran’s minister of science, research and technology said that based on the Islamic principle, Iran must take advantage of all its potential resources including nuclear technology for the prosperity of its people.
Zahedi called on Western countries not to try and prevent developing nations from producing their own nuclear power when it is designed for peaceful purposes.
“Islamic doctrine does not allow us to produce mass destruction weapons or nuclear ones and the Iranian state is based on that principle,” Zahedi told a news conference after meeting with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
He questioned why countries that have developed or used nuclear weapons continue to oppose Iran’s nuclear research and development.
He called on developing countries to fight hand in hand against what he called “scientific apartheid.”
“I would like to say that the usage of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is the right of every nation. And we, as a sovereign nation, do not allow other nations to interfere our domestic affairs,” he said.
The United States and some European countries have accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and have offered a package of incentives for Iran to give up uranium enrichment and resume negotiations over its nuclear ambitions.