Iran Repeats Lie of Anti-Nuclear Fatwa After Lawmaker Boasts It Already Has Nukes

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to media after he voted for the parlia
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

The Foreign Ministry of Iran insisted in a briefing on Monday that the nation’s terrorist regime would not pursue nuclear weapons development and would abide by international law on weapons of mass destructions (WMDs).

The remarks followed commentary in Iranian media by a prominent member of Parliament who claimed that Iran already possessed nuclear weapons, but its authorities were lying about it to appear to be abiding by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The lawmaker, Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, made his remarks shortly after a visit to Iran by the head of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, who lamented upon returning to Europe that the current state of nuclear inspections in Iran was “completely unsatisfactory.”

Adding to concerns that Iran may be preparing to declare itself a nuclear state, a senior adviser to “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Kamal Kharrazi, recently claimed that Tehran could soon change its “nuclear doctrine” in response to Israel’s self-defense operations against the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hamas.

“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,” Kharrazi said on Thursday. Kharrazi specified that an incident that would cause Iran to pursue nuclear weapons openly would be an attack by the government of Israel on its nuclear facilities. The Iranian regime considers Israel to be an illegitimate country and openly calls for the genocide of its people.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani insisted on Monday that no such change was imminent, citing the false alleged “fatwa” Khamenei issued against nuclear weapons.

“Iran remains committed to international treaties regarding the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction and has made no change in its nuclear doctrine,” the state outlet PressTV paraphrased Kan’ani as saying. “Kan’ani said Iran’s principled stance on weapons of mass destruction is based on a fatwa (religious decree) issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei which has banned such arms.”

Kan’ani went on to condemn Israel for not being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Such a fatwa, or Islamic religious edict, does not exist, but Iran regime sympathizers have used rumors of its alleged existence for years to defend allowing Iran to expand its nuclear development. Years of investigations have resulted in no evidence that Khamenei ever documented the issuing of such an edict. On the contrary, a letter by Khamenei’s predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, surfacing in 2006 showed that Khomenei ordered Iran to develop nuclear weapons in 1988.

Despite the lack of evidence that such a fatwa ever existed, and evidence that Iran actually ordered the development of nuclear weapons, President Barack Obama used the alleged “fatwa” as a critical propaganda point to promote the JCPOA.

Kan’ani’s remarks appear to be an attempt to limit the impact of Ardestani’s, which carry some weight given that he was recently re-elected to his seat in Parliament, which is impossible in Iran without approval from Khamenei. In an interview with the Iranian outlet Rouydad 24, Ardestani claimed that, not only was Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, but that it already possessed them.

“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, according to a translation by the dissident site Iran International. “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 claimed it was “natural for the containment system to require that Iran possess nuclear bombs,” as Iran has made enemies of states that possess nuclear weapons. Ardestani also suggested Israel possessed them, a longtime source of speculation that Israel has never confirmed.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in remarks this weekend, also apparently meant to temper the effect of Ardestani’s declaration, that Iran remained committed to “establishing a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.” Iran has yet to explain why it is enriching uranium at rates far beyond what is necessary for the development of a peaceful nuclear energy program, however. The IAEA affirmed in January that Iran had “enough nuclear material for several nuclear weapons.”

How far into the process of developing nuclear weapons Iran has gone is a matter of intense speculation, but the regime’s lack of transparency makes accurate estimates difficult even for the IAEA. Grossi, the head of the IAEA, complained a week ago, following a visit with senior Iranian nuclear officials in the country, that the regime is actively obstructing the ability of his agency to do its job.

“The present state is completely unsatisfactory for me. We are almost at an impasse and this needs to be changed,” Grossi said following his trip to Iran, lamenting the current “political conditions.”


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