The Iranian regime has always attempted to conceal its nuclear program until now. Despite this, their plans for nuclear weapons have been consistently exposed over the years, such as in the case of the Fordo nuclear site, revealed by the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) back in 2005.
Development of nuclear weapons
Now the regime has directly undermined its claims of peaceful nuclear activity, as on 2 February Iran’s Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavi, boldly threatened the regime’s development of nuclear weapons.
Alavi claimed that the American economic sanctions on Iran, initiated by the former President Trump administration in 2018, had crushed the economy to the point where the pursuit of nuclear weapons could be necessary.
On Iran state television Alavi announced “Our nuclear program is a peaceful program and the supreme leader clearly said in his fatwa that producing nuclear weapons is against religious law and the Islamic Republic will not pursue it and considers it forbidden. But let me tell you if you corner a cat it might behave differently than a cat roaming free. If they push Iran in that direction, it would not be Iran’s fault but the fault of those who pushed Iran.”
The statement is given by order of Khamenei
The Intelligence Minister was appointed as a cabinet member by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, any public statement such as this coming from a senior level should be taken seriously. Further to this, no statement is given nor decision made in the regime’s theocratic order without permission from the top of the hierarchy.
Tensions between Iran and the US are continuing to grow as President Biden has affirmed the US will only overturn the sanctions if Iran will uphold the agreement of the 2015 nuclear agreement. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was created in 2015 as a deal with major global powers to prohibit Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The regime has continuously violated the terms of the deal ever since, such as stock-piling nuclear fuel.
Tensions between Iran and the US will grow
Now regime officials and Iran’s state-run media are openly discussing the use of nuclear weapons as a tactic of intimidation. This includes a potential new Iranian Law, under a deadline of 21 February, that would prohibit international inspectors from investigating Iranian nuclear sites if the US does not lift their sanctions.
Calls for nuclear weapons in Iran by politicians, analysts, and media figures have been vocal online. This includes a hashtag on Twitter, “nuclear weapons as a deterrent”. A few weeks ago, a major conservative Iranian newspaper, Tabnak, even published a piece titled, “Why Iran Must Seek a Nuclear Bomb.”
Iran Seek a Nuclear Bomb
Israeli intelligence officials, who have been investigating Iran’s nuclear program, have anonymously stated that evidence suggests the regime possesses enough uranium to be able to build potentially three nuclear bombs. As Iran has not been adhering to the restrictions of the nuclear deal, they are in a position to build a nuclear weapon in approximately five months, if they are able to obtain the information they require to do so.
Director of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, expressed the concerning nature of the Intelligence Ministers threats,
“This is the first time someone in the hierarchy is making such an overt threat…This guy is saying, ‘If you push us, we will go there.’”