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Iran's Khamenei Rules Out Talks With Nuclear Scientists, Site Visits

  • RFE/RL

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) speaks during a visit to the Imam Hussein Military College in Tehran on May 20.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) speaks during a visit to the Imam Hussein Military College in Tehran on May 20.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ruled out allowing international nuclear inspectors to visit military sites in Iran or to question scientists, saying Tehran will "never yield to pressure."

"We have said that we will not allow any inspections of [Iranian] military centers by any foreigners to take place," state media quoted Khamenei as saying on May 20. "They say we should let them interview our nuclear scientists. This actually means interrogation. We will not allow any insolence to be displayed toward our nuclear scientists, or scientists of any critical or important field. I will not allow this."

Khamenei said Iran would not accept "excessive demands" during negotiations over its disputed nuclear program.

"We all have a responsibility to stand against bullying by the enemy, against the excessive demands of the enemy, and against conspiracies by the enemy. We have a duty to stand against this with the utmost strength and endurance," he said. "We have information that our enemies, with the assistance of some officials in the Persian Gulf region -- some officials, not all of them -- are determined to drag proxy wars close to the Iranian borders."

The comments come as Iran and six world powers -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany -- are negotiating an agreement aimed at getting Tehran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from sanctions.

The sides have set a June 30 deadline.

The powers want limits on Tehran's programs that could have a military use. Tehran denies it is pursuing such weapons.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP
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