Another Islamic Republic figure has amplified recent rhetoric by top officials about Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities, this time also emphasizing Tehran’s long range missile technologies.

“If a nation possesses superior air power and poses a threat to us, we will reciprocate with a corresponding threat,” Fereydoun Abbasi declared. “Our adversaries are well aware of our capability to launch satellites. This proficiency underscores the high standards of a nation capable of placing satellites into specific orbits.”

Abbasi was the previous head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and is currently a member of parliament and known as a hardliner figure among Iranian politicians.

Abbasi added that Iran does not believe in weapons of mass destruction, but cannot allow those who have weapons to “misuse their power.”

In January this year, following Iran’s announcement of the launch of the Soraya satellite using the Ghaem-100 Space Launch Vehicle (SLV), the UK, France, and Germany (the E3) issued a joint statement condemning the launch due to the SLV using “ technology essential for the development of a long-range ballistic missile system.”

The three countries are among the original signatories of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran.

“We have longstanding concerns over Iran’s activity related to ballistic missile technologies that are capable of delivering nuclear weapons. These concerns are reinforced by Iran’s continued nuclear escalation beyond all credible civilian justification,” the E3 statement further emphasized.

Moreover, Abbasi who was sanctioned in 2007 for being “involved in Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile activities,” also criticized International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi in light of his recent visit to Iran.

“Grossi is not an independent person and is influenced by several Western countries including America. America’s views are dictated to the agency and nothing has changed in this regard.”

He urged that Iran must “advance nuclear measures and act with strength” and taking such an approach will give Iran “the upper hand in negotiations”.

Meanwhile, following his recent trip to Iran, Grossi expressed deep concern on Tuesday in an interview with the Guardian regarding recent remarks from Iranian officials indicating a potential pursuit of nuclear weapons and their apparent lack of cooperation with UN inspectors.

Grossi’s remarks came in the wake of statements made by Iran’s Supreme Leader’s foreign policy advisor, Kamal Kharrazi, last week. Kharrazi had stated, that if Israel attacked Iran’s nuclear sites, Iran would consider a doctrinal shift to nuclear deterrence.

Despite Grossi’s concerns, Abbasi further echoed a similar sentiment about Iran’s changing nuclear doctrine emphasizing that it is not set in stone but rather adapts to existing circumstances.

“We may go to nuclear proliferation once, then for some reason, we may go to hybrid nuclear power. As soon as we change our policies in the field of radiation, energy production, and fuel production, it sends a message to the West,” Abbasi added.

Such statements made by senior Iranian officials, intensify concerns over Iran’s nuclear policy, raising the question of how close is Iran to building a nuclear bomb.

US-based advocacy group, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), highlights the three essential components for building a nuclear weapon: enriched fissile material, a delivery vehicle, and a warhead.

According to the former head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali-Akbar Salehi statement in February, it appears that Iran has the technology for all the components it needs for a nuclear bomb.

Moreover, experts caution that Iran’s expertise in developing missile delivery systems poses additional concerns.

The escalating rhetoric from high-ranking Iranian officials regarding nuclear capabilities, coupled with concerns expressed by international bodies and experts, underscores the gravity of the situation. As tensions between Iran and Israel continue to simmer, the possibility of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons raises significant global security concerns.

Source » iranintl