Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that Iran needs to boost its offensive military capabilities, and may consider development of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), including nuclear and chemical weapons.
“In order to secure our population, our country and our future we have to increase our offensive capabilities as well as our defensive capabilities,” he said at a military expo in Tehran where a number of top military officials gathered, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
The Leader made the remarks addressing a group of top officials and specialists of Iran’s Ministry of Defense after touring an exhibition of the achievements of Iran’s defense industries on Wednesday,
“Under conditions when bullying world powers have spread their umbrella of power and no mercy is seen in them and openly attack marriage ceremonies and hospitals on the pretext of fighting against terrorism, killing hundreds of innocent people without being accountable to any [international] organization or institution, [Iran’s] defensive capability and power must be increased so that bullying powers would feel threatened,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader added that Iran considers limitations for developing its defense industries and considers building nuclear and chemical weapons prohibited on the basis of its ideological beliefs.
“Apart from these limitations, there is no limitation in other fields for increasing our defense and military capability and progress in these fields is a duty,” the Leader said, adding that to preserve the country’s security and future of the nation, “in addition to defensive capability, offensive capability should be also bolstered.”
The Shi’ite leader spoke a week after a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots toward an Iranian fast-attack craft that had approached two U.S. ships, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
Saying that the former US administration was also responsible for crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Khamenei concluded that “none of the two dominant parties in America is preferable over the other in terms of moral competence.”
Khamenei continued by saying, “We are faced with such government in America and it would be a mistake to think that we can reach understanding and common grounds [with them] through negotiations.”
“This is why I insist on the necessity of not negotiating with America and experience has proven that instead of understanding, Americans are trying to impose their demands through negotiations, a prominent example of which was the recent developments [regarding Iran’s nuclear deal].”