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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Iranian Cleric: Iran Possesses “Formula for Nuclear Bomb”

Filed under: Iran, Nuclear Warfare

Iranian Cleric: Iran Possesses “Formula for Nuclear Bomb”
Ahmad Khatami, member of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah and Tehran’s interim Friday Prayer leader (Iranian press)

Ahmad Khatami, a senior member of the Assembly of Experts and Tehran’s interim Friday prayer leader, referred to Iran’s possible usage of nuclear weapons when he said (on February 8, 2019) that Iran had no intention of building nuclear bombs. “The formula exists, but there is no intention of using a weapon of mass destruction.”

Nuclear Agreement Is Considered Dead

Khatami, who was speaking in honor of the 40th anniversary of the “heavenly” victory of the Islamic Revolution, stated that the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and six world powers in July 2015 had impaired Iran’s nuclear capabilities, but after the United States withdrew from it, it was considered dead. What now remains for Iran under present conditions (as part of the agreement) is its ability in the field of weaponry. In this regard, he praised the Revolutionary Guard for revealing the new surface-to-surface Dezful ballistic missile,1 which has a range of up to 1,000 km and can be fired from underground silos. He said, “Iran’s ballistic missiles will land on the head of the attackers like thunder.”2

The Iranian Dezful ballistic missile
The Iranian Dezful ballistic missile (Iranian press)

The Nation Is Sunk in Great Suffering

Khatami admitted that the economic situation of the Iranian people is “not good at all.” “It is not possible to deny the problems that the people are dealing with… The nation is sunk in great suffering, and without the directives of the leader, Ali Khamenei, the situation could be much worse than under existing conditions.”3

At the same time, Khatami emphasized that the United States and the Shah’s Pahlavi royal family had failed to return to Iran, and they would take this desire with them to the grave. “They have craved to return (to Iran) for 40 years. Some of them have died and taken this desire with them to the grave. Those who are still alive await a similar fate.”

Iran Will Test Very Advanced Models of Centrifuges

Ali Akbar Salehi, vice-president and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), reiterated that Iran has begun mass-producing IR-4 and IR-2 centrifuges and testing the more advanced IR-6 and IR-7 centrifuges. He said that Iran is currently enriching uranium with more than 5,000 IR-1 centrifuges. He added that according to the nuclear deal, Iran could manufacture three of the more advanced IR-8 centrifuges, and the first centrifuges of this kind will be tested within half a year. Salehi warned the European countries that if they did not continue nuclear cooperation with Iran, it would continue to make progress by itself, and it is already prepared for the worst-case scenario. Salehi admitted that the agreement placed certain limitations on Iran, but “it does not affect the pace of the development of the (Iranian) nuclear industry.”

Ali Akbar Salehi
Ali Akbar Salehi gives details on new Iranian centrifuges (Iranian press)

Salehi, who took an active part in the nuclear talks with the Obama administration, stated in an interview that the secret discussions held between Washington and Tehran reached their peak in 2013, due to the initiative of the United States, which pushed to advance them, and the emirate of Oman played the role of mediator between both sides. Salehi did not answer directly the question of whether Iran would be prepared to return to the negotiating table with the United States and under what conditions.4

Iran Will Push the United States back to the Negotiating Table

Hashmatollah Falahat-Pisheh, director of the Council for National Security and Foreign Policy of the Iranian Parliament, stated on February 7, 2019, that after the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution celebrations, Iran would be able to adopt a policy of dragging the United States back to the negotiation table.5 Earlier, President Hassan Rouhani stated in a speech to foreign ambassadors in Tehran that if the United States expressed any regrets for its policy toward Iran, the Islamic Republic would accept it and would be prepared to return to talks with it.6

Former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi stated in an interview with the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen channel that he is aware that President Trump wants to visit Iran to hold direct talks with Tehran, in the same way that he is advancing talks with North Korea. According to Mousavi, President Trump has approached five countries to mediate between Tehran and Washington. He said that these included Arab, European, and Asian countries. Mousavi also claimed that in these approaches, President Trump had rescinded the 12 conditions raised by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the summer of 2018 with regard to Iran.

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