Iran ‘able to build nuclear weapon’

News Brief – April 7, 2012

A prominent Iranian lawmaker says his country has the scientific know how to produce nuclear weapons but wouldn’t do so.
Speaking to Iran’s parliamenary news site, Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam said Iran was quite capable of producing the highly enriched uranium needed to build a nuclear weapon but was emphatic that it had no intention of doing so.
This is the first time a prominent Iranian politician has openly declared that Iran has the technological capability to produce a nuclear weapon.
Israel, the US and its allies have long accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons, although little evidence has emerged to support such claims.
Tehran has repeatedly denied the accusation.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insists that his country harbours no desire to develop nuclear weapons.
According to Ayotollah Khamenei nuclear weapons are contrary to Islamic teaching and possessing them is a sin as well as “useless, harmful and dangerous”.
For his part Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that if Iran ever decides to build nuclear weapons, it will do so openly and will not fear anybody.
Iran claims it is enriching uranium to about 3.5% to produce nuclear fuel for its nuclear power plants, while smaller quantities of uranium are being enriched to around 20% for medical isotopes to treat cancer.
Uranium needs to be enriched to more than 90% for a nuclear weapon.
The United Nations nuclear body has partially confirmed these claims.
The UN nuclear inspectors have confirmed that centrifuges at the Fordo site near Iran’s holy city of Qom are producing uranium enriched to 20%, although it should be noted that uranium enriched to this level can more quickly be turned into weapons-grade material.
Reacting to the Western media’s coverage of his earlier remarks, Mesbahi Moqaddam told Iranian media on Saturday that the foreign media had presented a distorted account of his comments.”I firmly declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in no way after producing, stockpiling or using nuclear weapons,” he told FARS News Agency.
Despite this clear denial, Israeli officials seized on reports in the Western media about Mesbahi Moqaddam’s comments as evidence that Iran’s nuclear program has a “military dimension”.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday an unnamed official reiterated Israeli demands that Iran cease uranium enrichment and dismantle its Fordo nuclear research facility.
Which only goes to illustrate how Israeli officials have become adept at twisting the truth; just as they did with claims that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad declared that: “Israel must be wiped off the map”.
This has been subsequently proven to be a deliberate mistranslation, used to drum up sympathy and support for Israel. Yet Israel’s leaders and their lackeys in the corporate Western media still refer to this statement as if it were a matter of fact even though it has proven to be anything but.
Meaning that Israeli officials and the corporate media must believe that if you repeat the same lie enough times people will eventually believe it.     

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