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Iranian lawmaker: We might already have a nuclear bomb

"In my opinion, we have achieved nuclear weapons, but we do not announce it," an MP close to the regime said.

A view inside the Iranian Parliament. Credit: Mahdi Sigari via Wikimedia Commons.
A view inside the Iranian Parliament. Credit: Mahdi Sigari via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran might already possess a nuclear bomb, a lawmaker close to the regime said over the weekend, amid public threats by officials in Tehran to weaponize the country’s atomic program, Iran International reported.

Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, who has served in government in various capacities since the early 1980s and now represents a district close to the Natanz nuclear facility, told the state-run Rouydad24 outlet that Tehran took the risk of attacking Israel in April due to Iran’s possession of nuclear 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 [the 2015 nuclear deal],” he said.

“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,” Ardestani said.

“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,” said the politician.

Iran International described Ardestani as a “trusted regime figure,” in part because the conservative lawmaker was allowed to participate and win in the tightly orchestrated March parliamentary elections.

Ardestani was a close ally of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and previously served a four-year term as a supporter of the former president.

On Thursday, an adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic will build a bomb if Israel “threatens its existence.”

“If the Zionist regime [Israel] dares to damage Iran’s nuclear facilities, our level of deterrence will be different. We have no decision to produce a nuclear bomb, but if the existence of Iran is threatened, we will have to change our nuclear doctrine,” Kamal Kharrazi told a local media outlet.

The head of the Strategic Council for Foreign Relations added that Tehran has already signaled that it has the capacity to build the bomb.

Kharrazi’s comments came after last month’s retaliatory strike by Israel on Iran, which destroyed parts of the Shikari Air Base near Isfahan.

The attack came five days after Iran launched an unprecedented attack of more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel, in the first-ever direct attack on the Jewish state from Iranian soil. According to the Israel Defense Forces, 99% of the threats were shot down in a joint mission of Israel, the United States, Britain and several Arab neighbors.

A day before the Israeli response on April 19, the Islamic Republic threatened to reconsider its official nuclear doctrine.

“A review of our nuclear doctrine and politics as well as considerations previously communicated is entirely possible,” said Maj. Gen. Ahmad Haghtalab, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander responsible for safeguarding Iran’s nuclear sites.

Threats “against Iran’s nuclear facilities make it possible to revise and deviate from the declared nuclear policies and considerations,” he added, according to the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

“Our hands are on the trigger,” threatened Haghtalab, saying that the IRGC has identified the Jewish state’s nuclear facilities.

Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is strictly peaceful while it has continued to ramp up its uranium enrichment. In recent years, the regime has claimed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa religious edict outlawing weapons of mass destruction.

Following meetings in Tehran last week, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi told journalists that the Islamic Republic’s cooperation with the organization is “completely unsatisfactory” and urged the country to adopt “concrete” measures to address concerns.

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