Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking in a conference in the University of Tehran pointed to criticism recently directed at him on alleged grounds of lack of experience in defense and security matters and said "I have taught international security for 20 years. I have read American security texts. The US is not worried about our weapons but rather our nation. The strongest defense against the US is our people’s self-esteem and their culture of devotion and martyrdom. We may not exchange that wealth for weapons.”
"Nobody must be a consumer, particularly us. I believe that is the basis of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s power; our self-recognition where we stood before the US and said we have things to say and we do not copy your model,” he added.
The Foreign Minister asserted "When we say Iran is powerful it is not for military equipment _ although military equipment is important, but rather for the nation, the blood of the martyrs, and the Leader; that is our true power.”
"The vibe has changed,” Zarif asserted, adding "They can no longer look at Iran as a threat. There is no danger to Iran. We have talking to do, though. We will stand against domination. We will challenge the basic notion of domination through self-recognition. For that way of thinking, they attempt to create the anxiety that Iran is a nuclear threat.”
He added "Their main concern is to use some conventional tool, but the policy of the Islamic Republic and the Rouhani administration is to deprive them of the tool as we preserve our esteem and our principles. Our principle is that no one can dictate something to us. We will not have them change our future. We will not play on their ground. We will make the future.”
Pointing to contradictory statements by US officials, Zarif said "I am speaking and I will say whatever I like. They will also talk and say what they want. But in negotiations not all of what the two sides want is realized.”