IRI May Pursue Nukes If Sanctions Not Lifted: Senior Minister

ICBPS- The Islamic Republic of Iran’s intelligence minister warned Tuesday Tehran would pursue nuclear weapons if sanctions on his regime are not lifted.
The Minister of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic, Mahmoud Alavi claims that If they [westerners] push Iran towards nuclear weapons, it is not Tehran’s fault!
“The Supreme Leader has issued Fatwa, stating that nuclear weapons are forbidden, but if a cat is thrown into a corner, its behavior may be different from when the cat is free,” said the so-called moderate Rouhani’s minister.
The minister’s comment directly contravening the regime’s longstanding official stance that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
“Our nuclear program is peaceful and the Fatwa by the supreme leader Ali Khamenei has forbidden nuclear weapons, but if they push Tehran in that direction, then it wouldn’t be regime’s fault but those who pushed it,” Mahmoud Alavi declared.
By issuing a Fatwa years ago, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed that nuclear weapons are barred in Islam.
Last month, a former diplomat of the Islamic Republic warned Israel or the U.S. if they pursue “dangerous” measures, Khamenei may reverse the religious edict forbidding nuclear weapons.
On Sunday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei threatened Tehran will not reverse its nuclear program until the U.S. drops all sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Tehran, however, agreed over the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal in 2015 agreed to suspend its nuclear activities unless under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In November 2020, a report by the U.N. atomic watchdog obtained by Reuters showed that Iran has fired up advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges that it had installed underground at its Natanz site, in the latest breach of its nuclear deal with major powers.
Natanz is Iran’s main uranium-enrichment site and the one that U.S. President Donald Trump recently asked for options on attacking, according to a source who confirmed a New York Times report.
The deal states that Iran can only accumulate enriched uranium with first-generation IR-1 machines and that those are the only centrifuges it can operate at its underground plant at Natanz, apparently built to withstand aerial bombardment.
The International Atomic Energy Agency report last week showed Tehran had installed a cascade, an interlinked cluster, of advanced IR-2m machines underground at Natanz, having moved them from an above-ground plant where it was already enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges in breach of the deal.
The report said it had not fed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the feedstock for centrifuges, into that cascade.
“On 14 November 2020, the Agency verified that Iran began feeding UF6 into the recently installed cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) in Natanz,” the IAEA report to member states dated said.
In December 2020, U.N. atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said that Reviving Iran nuclear deal under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden would require striking a new agreement setting out how Iran’s breaches should be reversed.
Iran has breached many of the deal’s limits on its nuclear activities in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal and the reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Tehran that the deal lifted. Tehran often says it can quickly reverse its breaches if U.S. sanctions are removed.
Biden, who took office on Jan. 20, has said the United States will rejoin the deal “if Iran resumes strict compliance” with the agreement that imposed strict curbs on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.
In an interview with Reuters, Grossi, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency that polices the deal, said there had been too many breaches for the agreement to simply fall back into place.
“I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘We are back to square one’ because square one is no longer there,” Grossi said at IAEA headquarters.
“There is more (nuclear) material, … there is more activity, there are more centrifuges, and more are being announced. So what happens with all this? This is the question for them at the political level to decide,” said Grossi, an Argentine who took office as IAEA director general a year ago.
Asked if that meant there would have to be a ‘deal within the deal’, he said: “Oh yes, oh yes. Undoubtedly.
“It is clear that there will have to be a protocol or an agreement or an understanding or some ancillary document which will stipulate clearly what we do,” he said.

The Institute of Capacity Building for Political Studies (ICBPS) is a non-governmental research institute focusing on political studies, international security, and international relations.

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