February 11, 2019
Friday prayer Imam of Tehran Ahmad Khatami said Iran “has the formula for building a nuclear bomb,” the IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.
“Iran never had the intention to build an atomic bomb. Of course, we have the formula, but we do not want to use weapons of mass destruction,” he declared during a religious event in Mashhad on Saturday.
He spoke about nuclear and military power, saying that the US was able to contain the development of Iran’s nuclear power and now ballistic missiles are the only thing left for Iran.
He also criticized European efforts to halt Tehran’s missile program after Iran had reached an agreement on its nuclear activities.
Khatami’s comments will most likely raise doubts about the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) reports in December 2015 that said that it had concluded its investigations into the military goals of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This conclusion paved the way for the implementation of the nuclear deal between Tehran and western powers.
Further raising doubts over the IAEA claims was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel had obtained a large secret archive of documents related to Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.
Israeli agents had seized the vast amounts of documents from a site in Tehran, he told the UN General Assembly in 2018.
Iran claimed that the documents were fake.
Netanyahu reiterated his accusations against Tehran, saying it had hidden the documents from the IAEA in order to build a nuclear bomb.
Separately, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US-organized conference on the Middle East, which is set be hosted by Poland this week, is doomed to fail since its sponsors are reneging on their commitments to the event.
He noted on Saturday that the Americans put a lot of effort to hold the anti-Iran conference, but they have now changed their position which shows the summit has already failed to meet its original goals.
“They have changed the name of their conference, which shows they [Americans] have retreated from their initial stance,” he remarked.
The international gathering will take place in the Polish capital from February 13 to 14.
The summit is scheduled to be held on peace in the Middle East, with a special focus on Iran. Organizers later said it would focus on “stability and peace, freedom and security” in the Middle East without referring to Iran.