Iran 'now capable of building a nuclear bomb', brags country's Supreme Leader in fresh threat to West | The SunJuly 17, 2022
IRAN'S Supreme Leader has boasted how the country "can now produce a nuclear bomb" in a chilling warning to the West.
The threat comes just a day after Joe Biden finished a four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, where he vowed to stop Iran from "acquiring a nuclear weapon".
Kamal Kharrazi, senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has now bragged to Qatar's al Jazeera how the Middle East country is technically capable of making a nuke bomb.
He added, however, that authorities had not not decided whether to build one.
Kharrazi's comments were a rare suggestion that Iran might have an interest in nuclear weapons – which it has long denied seeking.
He said: "In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60 per cent and we can easily produce 90 per cent enriched uranium.
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"Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one."
Iran is already enriching to up to 60 per cent, far above a cap of 3.67 per cent under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Uranium enriched to 90 per cent is suitable for a nuclear bomb.
In 2018, former US President Donald Trump ditched the nuclear pact, under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment work – a potential pathway to nuke weapons – in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
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In reaction to Washington's withdrawal and its reimposition of harsh sanctions, Tehran started violating the pact's nuclear restrictions.
Last year, Iran's intelligence minister said Western pressure could push Tehran to seek nuclear weapons, the development of which Khamenei banned in a religious decree in the early 2000s.
Iran says it is refining uranium only for civilian energy uses, and has said its breaches of the international deal are reversible if the United States lifts sanctions and rejoins the agreement.
The broad outline of a revived deal was essentially agreed in March after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Biden's administration in Vienna.
But talks then broke down over obstacles including Tehran's demand that Washington should give guarantees that no US president will abandon the deal, the same way Trump did.
Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty.
'NOT ON MY WATCH'
Kharrazi said: "The United States has not provided guarantees on preserving the nuclear deal and this ruins the possibility of any agreement."
It comes after Biden this week vowed that the US is "prepared to use all elements of its national power" to stop Iran from getting nuke weapons during a conversation with Israel's PM Yair Lapid.
The President's pledge came a year after he said Iran would never get hold of such weapons "on his watch" while meeting with former Israeli leader Reuven Rivlin.
Israel, which Iran does not recognise, has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to contain Tehrans nuclear ambitions.
Kharrazi said Iran would never negotiate its balistic missile programme and regional policy, as demanded by the West and its allies in the Middle East.
He added: "Any targeting of our security from neighbouring countries will be met with direct response to these countries and Israel."
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It comes after Israel warned Iran is dangerously close to getting its hands on a nuclear bomb.
Prime minister Naftali Bennett warned the West must stand up to the growing threat of the regime becoming a nuclear power.
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