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Iran reiterates claim it has technical means to build nuclear bomb, but no intention of doing so

Ebrahim Raisi speaks at a political rally in Iran. (Hossein Razaqnejad, Wikimedia Commons released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The head of Iran’s atomic energy organization, Mohammad Eslami, said on August 1 that the Islamic republic has the technical capability to produce a nuclear bomb but has no intention of doing so, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.

Eslami reiterated comments made last month by Kamal Kharrazi, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran is already enriching uranium to up to 60 percent fissile purity, far above the limit of 3.67 percent set under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Uranium enriched to 90 percent is usable in the construction of a nuclear weapon.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018, reimposing harsh sanctions on Iran.

Tehran to gradually broke from compliance with the accord. Talks to restore the deal have been stalled since April.