Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei visits the Iranian centrifuges in Tehran, Iran June 11, 2023.

Controversial Nuclear Weapons Inquiry Sparks Debate In Iran

Monday, 01/15/2024

A TV host in Iran suggested on an IRGC-affiliated channel that it is perhaps time to produce nuclear weapons sparking controversy.

In the Saturday program on Ofogh Channel, the host, Hossein Hosseini, said "Is it not time for Iran to produce its first nuclear weapon, given the ongoing conflict against Gaza and repeated threats from Israel?"

The host directed the question to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization. Mohammad Eslami, in response, said that “the production of weapons of mass destruction has never been part of Iran's defensive doctrine and is not aligned with its foreign policy," in spite of the country's ongoing nuclear enrichment.

When questioned about possessing nuclear weapons for power balance, Eslami clarified, "It is not an inability; rather, it is a lack of desire. Our system's will is not inclined towards such a thing. The national security strategy is to move forward in this direction. We have reached a point where there is deterrence without violating any laws," though the international nuclear regulator has repeatedly voiced concerns about Iran exceeding levels of enrichment allowed under international law.

A former IRIB employee, Hadi Zonouzi, suggested on X that the question has been intentional. He stated, "This question was not without coordination! I have conducted numerous programs like this on radio and television, and there has never been an uncoordinated question with managers and guests at this level! Rest assured that there is news on the way!"

The development unfolds against the backdrop of the US assertion that Iran has the capacity to produce fissile material sufficient for nuclear weapons within two weeks. Iran, however, claims that its nuclear program is “solely for peaceful purposes.”

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