Iran Seeks To Appease West By Denying Nuclear Development

( – Iran’s Foreign Ministry suggested on May 13 that they weren’t pursuing the development of nuclear weapons and were compliant with international law and previous agreements. The announcement was likely damage control after an Iranian lawmaker suggested the country already possessed nuclear weapons but were concealing it to appear as if they were cooperating with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal).

Parliamentarian Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani suggested his country possessed nuclear weapons after a visit by the U.N. head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Chief Inspector Rafael Gossi called the state of Iranian nuclear inspections as agreed under the JCPOA “completely unsatisfactory,” in remarks given to the press upon his return from the Middle East.

The situation follows comments from Iranian sources near Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggesting that the Iranian state may declare itself a nuclear power in the near future as a consequence of the ongoing war in Gaza. Kamal Kharrazi is an adviser to Khamenei who suggested that any existential threat toward Iran would necessarily force them to announce themselves as a nuclear power to deter any aggression from similarly armed Israel or the U.S.

Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons has been rumored for years, but the international community tends to ignore the claims and there’s been no suggestion that Israel be inspected nor demands it adhere to international agreements that other nuclear-armed states have approved.

Despite the talk, Iran’s Foreign Ministry reiterated its intention to maintain the status quo. State press repeated claims by a spokesman suggesting that the country’s “principled stance” on nuclear weapons was still in effect suggesting there was a fatwa or religious prohibition against their development. The announcement also highlighted Israel’s failure to declare its nuclear weapons.

Critics have said that the claim there’s a fatwa against nuclear weapons development is a lie. They’ve additionally highlighted a letter from the previous Ayatollah that ordered the development of the technology as far back as 1988.

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