The Iranian regime continues to claim that Western concern over the regime’s nuclear program is motivated by opposition to Iranian society’s self-sufficiency and technological development rather than by fears over the regime’s development and use of nuclear weapons.
In this excerpt from a 2016 speech delivered to Iranian students, Khamenei lambasts Western governments, saying, “One of the greatest motivations of the arrogant powers [a term used by the regime to denote Western governments] regarding the nuclear issue which led them to unite against us is indeed to threaten the self- sufficiency of our country. A nation such as our country Iran that, without relying on America, England or any other country, managed to achieve very sensitive scientific progress and advancement in areas such as the nuclear field – this was important and dangerous to them[the Western powers] because they did not want this achievement to happen for Iran”.
He added, “I am personally confident that if we indulge them, then tomorrow they will look to areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and many other areas to find excuses to play games with us and create problems for us. Scientific progress, economic progress, the advancement of civilization, these are some of the arguments, differences and disputes which the Islamic Republic has with the arrogant powers.”