In a meeting with top Iranian students and young prodigies on Wednesday morning, Ayatollah Khamenei said that science unlocks the true benefits of knowledge only when it is paired with the right understanding of humanitarianism.
"In the case of the key and very beneficial nuclear science... when it was paired with a thirst for more power, it resulted in the creation of the nuclear weapon and turned into a major threat to the world and humanity," he said.
"Although we have always had the ability to tread this path, we declared it haram (forbidden by religion) according to the verdict of the beloved Islam and therefore there is no reason for us to expend our resources on developing and stockpiling a weapon that is absolutely prohibited (by Islam) to use," the Leader stated, according to Press TV.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that while Iran sees no shame in learning new sciences from others, it does not want its universities to replicate the American education system and copy the "wrong Western culture."
"Imitating others will kill innovation and the real vigor that comes with science," he said.
The Leader advised the Iranian officials to protect the young elite generation from becoming subjected to the phenomenon of brain drain that is being encouraged by certain groups.
He said the Iranian prodigies are the valuable assets of their own country and must be protected against attempts to lure them out of the country using financial incentives and other false promises.
The Leader hailed the Iranian scientists' achievements in defense, medical sciences, engineering, nanotechnology and peaceful nuclear energy despite the increasing foreign pressure.
"We live in a different situation than others," Ayatollah Khamenei said. "We need to think Iranian, act Iranian and live Iranian and this trend can be accelerated by adopting the Islamic-Iranian Blueprint for Progress."
He said Iranians need to attain such high scientific standards that "in 50 years' time, all elites wishing to acquire the latest scientific findings should learn the language of Farsi. This is something that can be achieved through reliance on Iranian genius, intellect and persistence."