Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says nuclear weapons are banned in Iran
Khamenei has made similar statements in the past and has also issued a religious decree banning nuclear weapons in the Islamic Republic, according to Reuters.
"We believe nuclear arms must be eliminated and we don't want to build nuclear arms," Khamenei said, the Iranian Students' News Agency reports. "But if we did not believe this and decided to have nuclear arms, no power could stand in our way."
Representatives from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany are scheduled to hold talks with their Iranian counterparts in Kazakhstan on February 26. The dispute has already dragged on for a decade and produced four rounds of sanctions against Tehran by the United Nations.
Recent talks between the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency failed to produce an agreement that would allow inspectors to investigate possible weapons development sites.
"We are not going to get trapped into a delay-after-delay process here," new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, the Washington Post reports. "It is incumbent on the Iranians to prove that they are prepared to meet our willingness, President Obama's willingness, again and again stated by the president, to be open to a diplomatic resolution here."