- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 13, 2014

A top Iranian official says his country is not seeking a nuclear weapon and is so much “stronger” than its neighbors and potential foes that nuclear bombs simply aren’t necessary.

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” airing Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Java Zarif said his nation intends to cooperate fully with the U.S. and its allies and adhere to the deal it struck with the international community last year.

That deal calls on Iran to slow its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some economic sanctions.

“I will commit to everything and anything that would provide credible assurances for the international community that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, because we are not. We don’t see any benefit in Iran developing a nuclear weapon,” the foreign minister said. “We need to go out of our way in order to convince our neighbors that we want to live in peace and tranquility with them, because the politics of geography — the fact that we’re bigger, the fact that we’re stronger, that we’re more populous, the fact that we have better technology, the fact that our human resources is by far more developed than most of our neighbors — all of these provides us with inherent areas of strength that we don’t need to augment with other capabilities.”

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an outspoken critic of the deal with Iran, called those claims “a joke” and said Iran cannot and must not be trusted.

“Of course they’re developing nuclear weapons,” Mr. Netanyahu said on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is a sham and I don’t think anybody could take this seriously.”