By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News
Iran is technically capable of manufacturing a nuclear bomb, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network on Sunday, adding that Tehran is undecided about whether to follow through.
“Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build it,” Kamal Kharrazi said, according to a translation of his remarks by the Reuters news agency.
Kharrazi’s unequivocal declaration appears to contradict Washington’s assessment that Iran may not have the know-how to make a bomb.
“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60% and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium,” Kharrazi, who is the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, told Al Jazeera Arabic.
Kharazi added that the regime would never negotiate with anyone about its “missile program and regional policies” because that “means surrender,” the report said.
He also warned that Tehran would “directly respond” to Israel if its “sensitive facilities” were targeted.
Israel has been blamed for a series of unexplained blasts at Iranian nuclear sites over the past two years.
Israel, Kharrazi said on Sunday, “is in a phase of weakness, and President Joe Biden’s support for it will not bring it back to the fore.”
Negotiations to return to the tattered nuclear deal with the U.S. are difficult due because of a “thick wall of distrust” between the two sides, the Khamenei aide said.
Last week, U.S. special envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned that it “would take a matter of weeks” for Iran to have enough fissile material for a bomb.
Malley claimed that the current crisis was inherited from the Trump administration’s “reckless” decision to withdraw from the deal in 2018. Malley insisted that the deal until then had been “working,” despite mountains of evidence provided by Israel that showed Tehran to be in direct breach of its terms.