Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that if the "need arises," Iran may increase its uranium enrichment to 60%. He said: "Enrichment is something that we need, and we shall have it." The Supreme Leader spoke during a public address that was aired on Channel 1 (Iran) on February 22, 2021. He said that the Israeli PM, whom he referred to as an "international Zionist clown", cannot stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, if Iran so desires. He added that Iran does not "think about nuclear weapons at all." The Supreme Leader stated: "The Islamic Republic will not back down."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "The international Zionist clown [Netanyahu] keeps saying: 'We will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.' Who are you that you do not let us? If we wanted to obtain nuclear weapons, you would not have been able to stop us, nor would those who are bigger than you. There is no such decision. This is our Islamic perspective.
"We do not think about nuclear weapons at all, but we certainly think about other things. The limit for our enrichment is not 20%. If the need arises, for example for nuclear propulsion engines, we may raise the level of our enrichment to 60%.
"Enrichment is something that we need, and we shall have it. It is not something that can be turned into an instrument to bully us. What is clear and certain to us is that in this issue, like in other issues pertaining to the Islamic Republic, there are those who believe that they are strong, and want to impose their opinion and to extort the Islamic Republic, and make it back down. However, the Islamic Republic will not back down."