Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the Islamic Republic of Iran does not need nuclear weapons to defend itself.
“Iran can defend itself without nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are of no use anymore and have no place in current international equations. Could the Soviet Union's stockpile of nuclear weapons prevent its collapse? Have they been of any assistance to the US military in its wars against Afghanistan and Iraq?”
"Atomic bombs couldn't secure a victory for the Zionist regime in the Lebanon and Gaza wars,” Ahmadinejad said in an interview published in the latest edition of the Russian magazine VIP-Premier.
It would be advisable for those countries that are accusing Iran of having a clandestine nuclear weapons program to take a look at their own nuclear arsenals, he observed.
Ahmadinejad went on to say that NATO's eastward expansion is meant to contain Russia's influence.
He suggested that Moscow expand its cooperation with regional countries to prevent outsiders from threatening regional security.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program.
Yet, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
But Israel possesses a nuclear arsenal of at least 250 warheads, has never signed the NPT, and has never allowed IAEA inspections of all its nuclear facilities.