SHAFAQNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed as “ridiculous” an alleged report by the German weekly, Der Spiegel, that Tehran is helping Damascus build nuclear weapons.
“The magazine’s allegation is one of the attempts made by those circles whose life has been based on violence and fear to cloud the international community with illusion and create imaginary concerns about the Islamic Republic, and this is a ridiculous claim,” Zarif said in a joint press conference with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides in Tehran on Sunday.
He also stressed Iran’s policy of opposition to the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the fatwa issued by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei that has placed a strong religious ban on the acquisition, possession and use of atomic bombs, and said, “We believe that all nuclear weapons should be dismantled.”
Elsewhere in response to the reporters’ question about his upcoming meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday, he said, “Since there are no political relations between Iran and the US, the meeting will be held in Geneva and our negotiations with the US are just limited to the nuclear issue.”
Zarif said that his meeting with Kerry is aimed at studying the extent to which the nuclear negotiations between Tehran and Washington, held within the framework of nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers, have produced success.
He also said he might have meetings with EU officials during his European tour.
The German Der Spiegel claimed in a report earlier this week that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, with the aid of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah, is building a nuclear weapons device.
It also claimed that the main intelligence for the discovery of a new nuclear site in Syria came from radio communications intercepted by a network of spies.
Der Spiegel did not reveal the origin of the espionage report, but such claims are normally given out by the Israelis.
Last year, a similar report gained from alleged Syrian radio communications intercepted by the Israelis led almost to a US war on Syria under the pretext that the Syrian army has used chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta in the Damascus countryside, but later reports showed that the chemical attack had been staged by the militants.