Iran supreme leader says he won't make or use nuclear weapons: Japan

13 June 2019 - 11:54 By Kiyoshi Takenaka
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a welcome ceremony in Tehran, Iran, on June 12 2019.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a welcome ceremony in Tehran, Iran, on June 12 2019.
Image: Official President website/Handout via REUTERS

Iran has no intention of making or using nuclear weapons, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying on Thursday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Khamenei's comment, a reiteration of Iran's stance, comes at a time of increased US-Iranian tension, a year after Washington abandoned an agreement between Iran and world powers to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of international financial sanctions.

"Supreme Leader Khamenei made a comment that the country will not and should not make, hold or use nuclear weapons, and that it has no such intentions," Abe told reporters in Tehran following a meeting with Khamenei.

"Today, I met Supreme Leader Khamenei and heard his belief in peace. I regard this highly as a major progress toward this region's peace and stability," said Abe, the first-ever Japanese prime minister to hold talks with Khamenei.

Abe's comment was broadcast on Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

On Wednesday, Abe warned of unintended clashes in the crisis-hit Middle East after meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Abe was visiting Iran to help ease rising tension between the US and the Islamic republic.

Japan is in a unique position to act as a mediator as the US ally has long maintained close ties with Iran. 

Reuters


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