Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country has no interest in developing a nuclear weapon — and insisted that nukes would reduce Iran's influence in the region, in an interview with David Gregory of NBC's "Meet the Press" scheduled to air Sunday.
"We don't see any benefit in Iran developing a nuclear weapon," Zarif said, adding that the country would take whatever steps necessary to convince the world it is not seeking nuclear weapons.
"It doesn't help anybody. The fact that everybody in the international community believes that mutual assured destruction — that is the way the United States, Russia and others, seek peace and security through having the possibility of destroying each other 100 times over is simply mad," Zarif said.
Zarif said that nuclear weapons like the ones held by Pakistan, the United States, Russia and Israel have not made those countries immune to violence. Zarif also said that Iran is bigger, stronger, more prosperous and more developed than its neighbors, and that it does not need nuclear weapons.
Russia, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany have called on Iran to reduce the number of uranium-enriching centrifuges to the low thousands, while Iran has maintained it needs tens of thousands of the centrifuges for its energy program.
First published July 12 2014, 6:13 PM