Iran FM: We Are Ready to Face 'Worst-case Scenario' in Defense of Nuclear Program

Ali Akbar Salehi says Tehran believes it is in the right in regards to its 'civilian' nuclear program, adding that Iran plans 'to move ahead with vigor and confidence.'

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

Iran is determined to pursue the advancement of its nuclear program, Iranian Foreign Ministry Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday, adding that Tehran was prepared for any "worse-case scenario" in attempt to defend its nuclear aspirations.

Salehi's comments came after U.S. National Adviser Tom Donilon arrived in Israel to discuss Iran's nuclear standoff with the West with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaking during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey. Thursday, Jan. 19. 2012. Credit: AP

Speaking with Haaretz just prior to Donilon's visit, a U.S. official has told Haaretz that all the messages from Israel in recent months pointed to the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran.

The senior U.S. official said that in the past six months the messages reaching Washington from Jerusalem have increasingly pointed to the likelihood of an Israeli strike, more so than in the previous two years.

"We think that Israel still has not decided whether to attack or not, but it is clear to us that it is being considered seriously," he said.

Referring to the continued controversy concerning Iran's nuclear program, Salehi told reporters in Tehran on Sunday: “Since we believe that we are right, we do not have the slightest doubt in the pursuit of our nuclear program."

"Therefore, we plan to move ahead with vigor and confidence and we do not take much heed of [the West’s] propaganda warfare," Salehi was cited by Press TV assaying, adding that "even in the worst-case scenario, we remain prepared."

Salehi also criticized western powers for accusing Iran for developing nuclear weapons while advancing the P5+1 nuclear talks, which he revealed will take place in Istanbul, Turkey.

“Since they have an arrogant nature, they have not learned to engage in political interactions with prudent and humane manners,” Press TV quoted Salehi as saying, advising "western countries" to "amend their policies towards Iran."

Also on Sunday, Iran's Ministry of Petroleum announced that it was stopping the sale of crude oil to British and French companies.

"Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped ... we will sell our oil to new customers," spokesman Alireza Nikzad said, the ministry website reported.

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