Iranian nuclear scientist Mahmoud Reza Aghamiri declared on Sunday that the construction of a nuclear weapon is not complicated for a nation like Iran that has high atomic capabilities.

Aghamiri’s comments during an interview on Iran’s Channel 2 provide a key window into the court of Tehran’s energetic drive to build a nuclear weapons program.

“The issue is not about producing an atomic bomb. When you have high capabilities, it means power. As you said, going in this direction is problematic and forbidden in the Leader’s view at the moment, but since he is a religious jurist, this could change tomorrow or later…This is the meaning of being a jurist,” said Aghamiri.

Iran claims to have high nuclear capabilities

He continued, “Today, his ruling [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s alleged ban on nuclear weapons] is that this must not happen. This is nothing compared to having nuclear capabilities. As I have said before, making an atomic bomb is not complicated. If you can have a nuclear reactor, which is a device where you control the chain reaction… When producing a nuclear bomb, you make a device where the chain reaction is not controlled, so it is much easier. The important point is that our nuclear capabilities are high.”

Aghamiri, who is president of Beheshti University, also said in the interview, “I have repeatedly told friends that we are one of the top five countries, not top ten.

Even France’s nuclear fuel cycle is not complete… But our country’s fuel cycle is complete.”

The US-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) first posted the interview on its website and translated it into English

The Channel 2 interviewer claimed that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, issued a fatwa (religious order) banning the development of nuclear weapons.

“According to the fatwa of the esteemed Leader of our revolution, we are forbidden to produce an atomic bomb, from a religious perspective. However, some say that this weapon can have deterrence and defensive benefits. What is the general consensus in the country now? If they give us too much trouble, will we turn to produce an atomic bomb for deterrence, or not?” said the Channel 2 reporter.

Iran experts argue that Khamenei never issued an official fatwa because the Islamic Republic of Iran refuses to furnish the religious edict, and the purported fatwa does not meet the criteria of a fatwa.

Writing on the website of Iran International on Wednesday, the Iranian-American sociologist Majid Mohammadi responded to Aghamiri’s interview.

Mohammadi said Iranian “authorities even tried to formalize this fake fatwa by incorporating it into a United Nations resolution. By presenting Khamenei’s opinion as a fatwa, the orchestrators showed deep insight into international dynamics. Aware of the pressures on Iran, they aimed to lessen these by strategically blending religious rhetoric with political maneuvers, targeting global perceptions and responses to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Mohammadi said that Khamenei’s “statement to the nuclear disarmament conference on April 10, 2010, was presented as Khamenei’s ‘nuclear fatwa.’” He noted that” Typically, heads of state issue statements or messages to conferences, not fatwas. The content of this message bears no resemblance to the fatwas issued by Shia jurists throughout history. Khamenei’s statement opens with ‘we believe,’ a phrase not traditionally used by Islamic jurists to begin their fatwas.”

This journalist has interacted with Iran’s UN mission with respect to attempts to secure the religious fatwa. The UN mission provided an unenforceable UN document about Khamenei’s purported fatwa.

Iran’s UN spokesman declined to provide a copy of the so-called fatwa against atomic weapons.

Ayelet Savyon, the Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Studies project, wrote last year “It should be emphasized yet again that Khamenei’s fatwa banning nuclear weapons that regime officials have repeatedly cited was never published and does not exist. Even the 2022 book by Professor Seyed Hossein Mousavian of Princeton University and Dr. Shameer Modongal of Kerala University – Religion and Nuclear Weapons, A Study of Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan—presents no evidence as to its existence.”

Savyon noted “The fact is that no declaration by Khamenei against possessing nuclear weapons was published on either of his two official fatwa websites.

Furthermore, Khamenei even ruled, as part of his jurisdiction, on March 15, 2012, in response to a question that had been submitted via Facebook concerning whether it is permitted to possess nuclear weapons, in light of his alleged declaration that this is forbidden. He ruled: ‘Your letter has no jurisprudential aspect. When it has a jurisprudential position, then it will be possible to answer it.’ He concluded the exchange with a statement in the official structure of a fatwa: ‘No answer was given.”’

The Iran expert Savyon said that in Khamenei’s Persian New Year address in 2011, he ridiculed then-Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi for delivering his nuclear installations to the US: “This gentleman wrapped up all his nuclear facilities, packed them on a ship, and delivered them to the West and said, ‘Take them!’ Look in what position our nation is, and in what position they [the Libyans] are now.”

Source » jpost