Iranian lawmaker declares Tehran obtained nuclear bombs

Iranian lawmaker declares Tehran obtained nuclear bombs

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Iranian lawmaker declares Tehran obtained nuclear bombs

After the head of the United Nation’s atomic watchdog agency warned that Iran has enough uranium to produce “several” nuclear bombs, a firebrand Iranian lawmaker declared on Friday that the Islamic Republic of Iran possesses atomic weapons.

“In my opinion, we have achieved nuclear weapons, but we do not announce it. It means our policy is to possess nuclear bombs, but our declared policy is currently within the framework of the JCPOA,” Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani told the Iran-based outlet Rouydad 24 on Friday, according to an article published by the independent news organization Iran International in London.

The JCPOA is an abbreviation for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA in 2018 because, his administration argued, the accord did not stop Iran’s drive to build atomic weapons.

The JCPOA provides massive economic sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for assurances it will not, within a limited time period, build a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addresses the media during parliamentary elections in Tehran on May 10, 2024

Ardestani, who was re-elected to Iran’s quasi-parliament in March, added, “The reason is that when countries want to confront others, their capabilities must be compatible, and Iran’s compatibility with America and Israel means that Iran must have nuclear weapons,”

The Iranian parliament member noted, “In a climate where Russia has attacked Ukraine and Israel has attacked Gaza, and Iran is a staunch supporter of the Resistance Front, it is natural for the containment system to require that Iran possess nuclear bombs. However, whether Iran declares it is another matter.” Fox News Digital sent press queries to Iran’s Foreign Ministry in Tehran and its U.N. mission in New York.

Experts on Iran’s illegal nuclear weapons program warned about the seemingly speculative comments made by Ardestani. Jason Brodsky, the policy director of the U.S.-based United Against a Nuclear Iran, told Fox News Digital that “Ardestani is only a member of parliament, and he’s not in the inner core of the regime’s nuclear decision-making circle, so while his comments are interesting, I think they have to be weighed properly given his access and standing.”

Just two days before Ardestani’s announcement, the president of the Iranian Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharrazi, told Al-Jazeera Network Qatar, “I announced two years ago, in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV, that Iran had the absorptive capacity and the capability to produce a nuclear bomb. Iran still has that capability, but we have not made the decision to produce a nuclear bomb. However, if the Iranian interests are threatened in this manner, we may change this doctrine. The military officials in Iran have announced that if our nuclear facilities would be attacked, we may change our military doctrine, with regard to the nuclear facilities.”

Brodsky said, “Kharrazi’s comments are part of an increasingly loud chorus of threats from Iranian officials that they will change Iran’s nuclear doctrine if Israel attacks them. The current advanced state of Iran’s nuclear program provides it with the luxury to make these threats as it hopes to deter Western policymakers from launching pressure campaigns on Tehran.”

Critics of the Biden administration’s Iran policy argue the White House strategy of de-escalation and containment targeting Iran’s atomic program has backfired. Iran’s regime – the world’s worst state-sponsor of international terrorism – is moving at an astonishingly fast pace to secure an operational nuclear weapon.

Nuclear security alarm bells are ringing over Iran’s illicit atomic program in Europe. Fox News Digital obtained the April intelligence agency report for Germany’s most populous state, Nordrhein-Westfalen. 

The German intelligence report notes, “The Islamic Republic’s continued intensive procurement efforts by Iran in Germany continues” for its “nuclear and missile program.” The German experts added “proliferation-relevant activities by Iran to circumvent existing sanctions in favor of Iran’s nuclear and missile programs can still be assumed.” A State Department spokesperson previously told Fox News Digital, “As the president and the secretary have made clear, the United States will ensure one way or another that Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon. We continue to use a variety of tools in pursuit of that goal, and all options remain on the table.”

David Wurmser, a former senior adviser for nonproliferation and Middle East strategy for former Vice President Dick Cheney, told Fox News Digital, “The distance from where Iran is purported to be to an actual deliverable device is still a ways away, provided the information that we have in our operating from is correct. And that is quite a proviso. We know that North Koreans have been interacting with the Iranians, and we know relations with North Korea go back many, many years.”

The communist state of North Korea previously aided Syria in building its illicit nuclear reactor. Israel’s air force knocked out the reactor in 2007.

David Wurmser, former senior adviser for nonproliferation and Middle East strategy for former Vice President Dick Cheney, in Washington D.C. (David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images)

Wurmser warned, “As since intelligence is generally incomplete and is inherently seeking to discover that which is given to being opaque with much hidden, we have to assume surprises. I realize in the Iraq war we imagined there was more there than there actually was – and there was more than what is popularly understood – but Iraq is actually a very rare circumstance. The Pakistani, the Russian, the Chinese, the Indian, and even the South African programs all were ahead of what we had expected when they were exposed. For that matter, that was the case with Libya as well.”

The non-proliferation expert noted, “So, on balance, I doubt Iran has a nuclear weapon yet, but I also doubt that the program is in a stable state, even a stable state regarding weaponization. I think Iran is pushing ahead and has every intention to go all the way. So time on this may still be there, but it is short and running out fast. And of course, the consequences of an Iranian bomb are catastrophic for the region, for Israel’s survival, and for the status of American power in the globe.”

The recent saber-rattling over Iran’s nuclear weapons program from regime officials and lawmakers coincides with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi’s May 8 statement that his organization was working “very hard with [Iran] to prevent [nuclear weaponization] from happening.”

The Washington D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War wrote this suggests “that Iran has already obtained or is close to obtaining the ability to procure nuclear weapons.” The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital press query.

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