Iran says it doesn’t want nuclear weapons ahead of talks

“We have strongly marked our opposition to weapons of mass destruction on many occasions,” Salehi wrote. “Almost seven years ago, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a binding commitment. He issued a religious edict — a fatwa — forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.”

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The United States and many allies, however, are skeptical of Tehran’s claims it does not want nuclear weapons. Iran’s moves to build a nuclear facility inside a mountain and resistance to nuclear inspections at a military facility have added to the suspicion.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, and that it’s producing 20 percent enriched uranium — a step below weapons grade — in order to produce medical isotopes.

Talks between the P5+1 group and Iran are to resume Friday in Istanbul for the first time in more than a year, after the last round failed.

The Obama administration has said it wants to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program, but that it is not ruling out any options, including military ones.