Iranian officials openly discuss the country’s ability to make a nuclear weapon
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Iran has spoken openly for the first time about its potential to build a nuclear weapon, with officials discussing the ability to build such a weapon “at will.”
“Iran has the technical capability to make an atomic bomb, but there is no such plan on the agenda,” Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran’s civilian nuclear agency, said in a report on Monday.
Eslami also referred to comments made by Kamal Kharrazi, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who told Al Jazeera in mid-July that the country was capable of enriching uranium “up to 60 %”, but could “easily produce 90% enriched uranium”. ,” the level at which it is considered weapon grade.
Eslami’s agency later walked back the comment, saying he had “misunderstood and misjudged,” seen by some as a sign that Iran’s government did not want him to be so specific with his language.
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Some experts believe that Eslami was not wrong and that recent statements by Iranian officials serve to test the international response to the possibility of a final race for a nuclear weapon.
“Obviously, Iran’s repeated references to the possibility of producing nuclear weapons reflect an intention to actually produce them,” said Yossi Kupperwasser, former brigadier general and head of the IDF’s Intelligence Assessment Division and IDSF Senior Researcher, at Fox News Digital.
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“The only question is how long the Iranians will need. While the time required to produce fissile material is very short, it may take a little longer to turn the fissile material into a bomb, but not as much as some think. Less than two years.”
“Obviously, nobody is guessing at the intentions of the Iranians: their purpose is and always has been to produce nuclear weapons, and what we see now is that the Iranians are finally admitting that, not that we ever need their admission in order to establish that this it was his real intention,” Kupperwasser added. “We’ve known this for a long time, and the nuclear files that the Israeli Mossad exposed proved it, especially with the letter sent to the late Fakhrizadeh, ordering him to produce five bombs in the early 2000s.
“These Iranian statements only make it easier for everyone involved to know the true intent of the Iranians.”
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Officials from Iran, the US and the European Union will meet in Vienna on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to revive the nuclear deal, but analysts warn that Iranian officials may see the benefits of a nuclear weapon far outweighing any sanction imposed by other nations.
“Iran has a slippery slope to the bomb. That’s been pretty clear for some time,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital.
“The growing threat that Iran faces no technical impediment to the production of nuclear weapons is evidence of Iran’s strategy of moving forward under fire. This has has been as true with the nuclear program as with the missile program.”
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According to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest public count, Iran has a stockpile of about 3,800 kilograms (8,370 pounds) of enriched uranium.
Iranian diplomats for years have pointed to Khamenei’s predictions as a binding fatwa, or religious edict, that Iran would not build an atomic bomb.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.