A senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Qatar’s al Jazeera TV on Sunday that Iran is technically capable of building a nuclear weapon.
Iran has been denying any interest in constructing a nuclear weapon. The CIA claims a nascent Iranian bomb program was shut down in 2003. Nonetheless, the regime assembled a nuclear infrastructure capable of putting all the pieces in place for building a weapon as soon as it was able to enrich uranium to the 90% level.
Now, Iran just activated nearly 200 advanced centrifuges that would give them the capability of spinning up enough highly enriched, bomb-grade uranium in a matter of days.
“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60% and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium … Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one,” Kharrazi said.
Iran is already enriching to up to 60%, far above a cap of 3.67% under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Uranium enriched to 90% is suitable for a nuclear bomb.
In 2018, former U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the nuclear pact, under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment work, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
It was as one-sided a deal as the United States ever agreed to. There was no monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program at its primary research facility at the Parchin military base despite evidence of explosives testing consistent with research on a nuclear bomb. Iran was allowed to improve its centrifuge technology, resulting in the current IR-6 machines that are far more efficient and faster than the previous generation of centrifuges. And thanks to Israel’s bold raid on a warehouse in the middle of Tehran in 2018, tens of thousands of documents prove that Iran has been building a bomb all this time — agreement or no agreement.
But the world was far more interested in the tens of billions of dollars in trade with Iran than in forcing Iran to keep the nuclear genie in the bottle.
We’re now going to pay for that shortsightedness.
The broad outline of a revived deal was essentially agreed in March after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Biden’s administration in Vienna.
But talks then broke down over obstacles including Tehran’s demand that Washington should give guarantees that no U.S. president will abandon the deal, the same way Trump did.
Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty.
“The United States has not provided guarantees on preserving the nuclear deal and this ruins the possibility of any agreement,” Kharrazi said.
The “revelation” from Khamenei’s adviser is not news to Israel. They have been carrying out a clandestine war on Iran’s nuclear program for years. In May, several quadcopters attacked Parchin, killing an engineer. The strike fit the pattern of previous Israeli attacks.
How much more evidence does Israel need to unleash its military and destroy this existential threat from Iran?