Iran has the technical capability to produce an atomic bomb but has no intention of doing so, Mohammad Eslami, head of the country’s atomic energy organisation, said on Monday, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Eslami reiterated comments made by Kamal Kharrazi, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in July.
Kharrazi’s remarks amounted to a rare suggestion that the Islamic Republic might have an interest in nuclear weapons, which it has long denied seeking.
Iran is already enriching uranium to up to 60% fissile purity, far above a cap of 3.67% set under Tehran’s now tattered 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Uranium enriched to 90% is suitable for a nuclear bomb.
In 2018, former U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the nuclear pact, under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment work, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions.
Iran has responded to top European Union diplomat Josep Borrell’s proposal aimed at salvaging the nuclear accord, and seeks a swift conclusion to negotiations, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator said on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Borrell said he had proposed a new draft text to revive the deal.