Iran rejects curbs on its defensive power, regional presence

March 10, 2022 11:02 pm | Updated 11:02 pm IST - DUBAI

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that Tehran will not bow to pressure to reduce its defensive power, regional presence and progress in nuclear technology, Iranian state media reported.

“Suggestions to reduce our defensive power so as to appease the enemy are nothing more that naive and ill-advised Over time, these flawed proposals have been rebutted, but if they weren’t, Iran would have now faced great threats,” the country's top political authority said according to state media.

The Islamic Republic, which sees the United States and Israel as its main enemies, is now in the final stages of talks with world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that would lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.

But Israel and Gulf Arab countries worry that a revived deal will embolden Iran to step up support to allies in conflicts across the Middle East, using funds from an economy newly freed from sanctions.

“Regional presence gives us strategic depth and more power," Khamenei said.

"Why should we give it up? Scientific progress in the nuclear field is related to our future needs, and if we give that up, will anyone help us in the future?” he added.

Iran on Thursday called on the United States to drop "unacceptable proposals" in the talks, while Russia's demands for guarantees from Washington have complicated efforts to close an agreement.

Iran and Western-backed Saudi Arabia have been locked in a rivalry that has played out in proxy conflicts across the region, from Yemen to Syria to Iraq.

Iran has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s civil war, Shi’ite militias in Iraq, Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.