Ayatollah Khamenei

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei says the West “lies” about Iran’s nuclear program, adding that its sanctions against Iran are “ineffective.”

Speaking on Sunday at the 23rd memorial service for Ayatollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “In the world’s political and media spheres, they speak of a nuclear Iran. I say that they are lying and deceiving people. What they fear and should fear is not a nuclear Iran but the Islamic Iran.”

He stressed that the U.S. and the West “exaggerate” the nuclear disputes with Iran, adding: “They mendaciously utter the name of nuclear weapons and exaggerate matters in order to divert public attention from the events that are occurring in the U.S. and Europe.”

He called the international sanctions against Iran “ineffective” and noted: “The only effect these unilateral and multilateral sanctions have on the people of Iran is that they deepen their hatred and enmity against the West.”

Ayatollah Khamenei went on to emphasize the economic difficulties facing the United States and its European allies, saying: “The U.S. is facing a crisis and it wants to drag this crisis to Asia, Africa and the Middle East and cover up its own weaknesses by creating events in other countries.”

While the West is concerned that Iran may be building nuclear weapons, Iran has repeatedly insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful, aimed only at energy production and medical developments. Ayatollah Khamenei has also announced that building and storing nuclear weapons is “haram” or forbidden by God.