After Week of Hinting at Having Bomb, Iran Offers to Share ‘Nuclear Expertise’ with the World

A woman walks past a banner showing missiles being launched, in northern Tehran, Iran, Fri
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) offered to share the nation’s nuclear “expertise” with any country seeking to develop a nuclear program on Wednesday, the latest in a string of provocative comments by Iranian officials, including one claiming Tehran already has a nuclear bomb.

AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi bragged that Iran had been developing its nuclear technology for half a century and was hoping for scientific collaboration with the international community during a conference focusing on expanding ties with Arab states. The regime-run PressTV propaganda outlet claimed that he suggested the field of “radiopharmaceuticals” as one particularly ready for international cooperation, omitting discussion of weapons.

Kamalvandi also reportedly conceded that Iran’s relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations oversight organization on nuclear science, had become increasingly fraught lately, but blamed “political” intrusions into scientific development for the situation.

“Iran has 50 years of history and experience in the nuclear field and has been able to train many scientists and specialists,” PressTV quoted Kamalvandi as saying. “Iran stands ready for comprehensive cooperation in order to transfer its nuclear expertise and technology to all countries, especially neighboring ones. We extend the hand of friendship to all states.”

Kamalvandi went on to express pride in Iran’s nuclear program, asserting, “We did not obtain the nuclear industry easily in our country and we paid a heavy price for it.” According to PressTV, the spokesman “pointed to Israel’s assassination of Iranian scientists and its acts of industrial and cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear progress.”

The outlet did not specify, but Kamalvandi appeared to be referring to the 2020 assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the nation’s top nuclear scientist, in 2020. Iranian officials initially blamed unspecified “terrorists” for Fakhrizadeh’s death. A year later, the left-wing New York Times claimed the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency used a robot machine gun to kill the scientist.

Iran is a radical Islamist theocracy that regularly threatens the genocidal destruction of its neighbor, Israel. International nuclear authorities have long warned that Iran is engaging in nuclear activities, prominently including the enriching of uranium, that are not consistent with peaceful nuclear development, raising concerns that it is attempting to build a bomb with the intent to fulfill its threats to eliminate Israel.

In a interview in Iranian media this weekend, member of Parliament Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani said he thinks Iran already has a nuclear weapon.

“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,” Ardestani 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.”

The JCPOA, or “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” is the international agreement signed in 2015 and spearheaded by former President Barack Obama. America withdrew from the deal in 2018, under former President Donald Trump, in response to Iran’s continuous and flagrant violations of the provisions of the agreement.

“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,” he claimed, adding that he did not expect Iran to officially declare itself a nuclear state, as allied rogue regime North Korea has done.

The lawmaker claimed lying about possessing nuclear weapons was necessary to maintain the sanctions relief associated with the remnants of the 2015 JCPOA.

Ardestani’s remarks followed comments a week ago by a senior adviser to “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Kamal Kharazi, that indicated Iran may soon stop claiming taht it will not pursue nuclear weapons.

“We have no decision to build a nuclear bomb but should Iran’s existence be threatened, there will be no choice but to change our military doctrine,” Kharazi was quoted as saying.

The “military doctrine” against nuclear weapons is allegedly the result of a “fatwa,” or religious edict, issued by Khamenei against nuclear arms development. Iran has never published the “fatwa” and no evidence suggests that it exists, despite supporters of the JCPOA and sanctions relief for Iran claiming the “fatwa” is a form of security guarantee.

The comments suggesting Iran may soon pursue nuclear weapons followed a visit to the country by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to Tehran this month, which culminated with Grossi saying that the current state of nuclear inspections is “completely unsatisfactory.” Grossi appeared to chastise the Iranian officials’ comments in remarks to the British newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday.

“Loose talk about nuclear weapons is extremely serious for me. And I think it should stop,” Grossi said. “We are moving closer to a situation where there is a big, huge question mark about what they are doing and why they are doing it.”

Grossi suggested that he could soon stop trying to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities at all.

“I have been saying that without meaningful engagement … my ability to guarantee that everything is for peaceful uses in Iran would be limited and perhaps approaching the moment where I would not be able to say that any more,” Grossi warned. There would be a moment when I would draw a line. It would be a very critical juncture because the international community would have to grapple with the reality that we don’t know what Iran may or may not have and the countries will draw their conclusions.”

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