President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said Tuesday that his country would press on forever in its pursuit of nuclear research, but that it’s intentions are peaceful.
During a speech marking the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Rouhani criticized Western leaders who have suggested using military force against Iran’s nuclear facilities remains an option, Reuters reports.
“I say explicitly to those delusional people who say the military option is on the table, that they should change their glasses,” he said. “Our nation regards the language of threat as rude and offensive.
“I want to expressly announce that the movement of the Iranian nation towards the peaks of scientific and technical progress and advancement, including peaceful nuclear technology, will be forever,” Rouhani added, describing economic sanctions imposed by Western nations on Iran as “brutal, illegal and wrong.”
Rouhani’s comments came ahead of international talks that are set to resume next week on hashing out a longer-term agreement for curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Iran reached a temporary deal in November with six world powers, including the U.S., to limit parts of its nuclear work in return for the easing of some sanctions. The latest negotiations are planned for Feb. 18 and 19 in Vienna.