National Security

Top Iranian Official Issues Stark Warning About Nuclear Capabilities

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A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader said Iran has the ability to construct a nuclear bomb but has yet to decide whether to pursue weaponization, according to a translation of his statement from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“It is no secret that we have become a nuclear threshold country,” Kamal Kharrazi, an adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on foreign policy and former foreign minister, told Al Jazeera’s Arabic service, according to MEMRI. “It is no secret that we have the required technological capabilities to produce a nuclear bomb.”

“We do not want that and have not decided to do so,” Kharrazi said. (RELATED: ‘Crisis On The Nuclear Front’: Biden Deals With Terrifying Prospect On Middle East Trip)

The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reported on May 30 Iran had accumulated enough uranium at the 60% enrichment level to create a nuclear explosive. An enrichment level of 90% is considered weapons-grade, according to the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

Iran’s nuclear ambitions had “crossed a dangerous new threshold,” scientists at ISIS wrote. They noted that Iran had the potential to reach the 90% enrichment level necessary for a nuclear weapon.

Despite claiming Iran has no desire to build a nuclear weapon, Kharrazi affirmed Iran’s capacity to reach the necessary enrichment level.

“In the past, we raised the level of uranium enrichment from 20% to 60% in a matter of days. We can simply raise this level to 90%,” said Kharrazi.

Iran announced earlier in July that it had installed advanced centrifuge technology at the Fordow nuclear site that would allow it to boost enrichment for a period before the IAEA could detect it.

Western efforts to revive the Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran have fizzled out, with both sides accusing the other of attempting to achieve extraneous political goals through the negotiations.

“With regard to the nuclear deal, there are questions about its benefit. So far, there have been no American guarantees for preserving the agreement, and this impedes any possible agreement,” Kharrazi said.

Kharrazi also threatened to retaliate against an attack on Iran from enemies in the region, according to the state-run Tehran Times.

“Targeting our security from neighboring countries will be met with a response to those countries and a direct response to Israel,” he said.

Kharrazi’s statement came a day after President Joe Biden met with nine regional leaders to discuss regional security, including a cooperative missile defense system and information sharing network, according to a White House fact sheet. The countries also reaffirmed their commitment to ensure Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.

“The demand by the U.S. and other Western countries to negotiate about our missile program and regional policy is out of the question. We reject that, because it means surrender,” said Kharrazi.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Kharrazi could not be reached for comment.

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