TEHRAN. — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the United States has created the “myth” of nuclear weapons to paint Tehran as a “source of threat.” The tough rhetoric comes days before nuclear talks are set to resume in Vienna. “They created the myth of nuclear weapons so they could say the Islamic Republic is a source of threat,” Khamenei said in a televised address to a hall of several hundred military commanders, as cited by Reuters.

“No, the source of threat is America itself, with its unrestrained, destabilising interventions,” he added.

Earlier, Iran’s most powerful figure, argued no deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme was possible without the simultaneous lifting of all sanctions against the country. The US has rejected the condition.

Khamenei urged the Iranian military elite to be ready to repel any attack.

“They threaten Iran and want us to have no capabilities for defence,” he said.

“The US threatens in the most shameless way to deliver a strike against Iran. That is why, we must be prepared for defence in any case.”

The statement has been seen as a response to the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who earlier said that deliveries of Russian S-300 air defence missile systems to Iran would not affect America’s ability to strike Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, has meanwhile rejected a demand by US Defence Secretary Ash Carter, who said a final nuclear agreement must include inspections of Iranian military sites.

Salami described possible inspections as a “national humiliation.”

“This subject is treasonous and selling out the country, and if anyone speaks of it, we will respond with hot lead,” he said, in comments cited by state news agency IRNA. — RT.