(OPINION) After the head of the United Nation’s atomic watchdog agency warned that Iran has enough uranium to produce “several” nuclear bombs, a firebrand Iranian lawmaker declared on Friday that the Islamic Republic of Iran possesses atomic weapons.

“In my opinion, we have achieved nuclear weapons, but we do not announce it. It means our policy is to possess nuclear bombs, but our declared policy is currently within the framework of the JCPOA,” Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani told the Iran-based outlet Rouydad 24 on Friday, according to an article published by the independent news organization Iran International in London.

The JCPOA is an abbreviation for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA in 2018 because, his administration argued, the accord did not stop Iran’s drive to build atomic weapons.


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The JCPOA provides massive economic sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for assurances it will not, within a limited time period, build a nuclear weapon.

Ardestani, who was re-elected to Iran’s quasi-parliament in March, added, “The reason is that when countries want to confront others, their capabilities must be compatible, and Iran’s compatibility with America and Israel means that Iran must have nuclear weapons,”

The Iranian parliament member noted, “In a climate where Russia has attacked Ukraine and Israel has attacked Gaza, and Iran is a staunch supporter of the Resistance Front, it is natural for the containment system to require that Iran possess nuclear bombs.

However, whether Iran declares it is another matter.” Fox News Digital sent press queries to Iran’s Foreign Ministry in Tehran and its U.N. mission in New York.

Experts on Iran’s illegal nuclear weapons program warned about the seemingly speculative comments made by Ardestani. Jason Brodsky, the policy director of the U.S.-based United Against a Nuclear Iran, told Fox News Digital that “Ardestani is only a member of parliament, and he’s not in the inner core of the regime’s nuclear decision-making circle, so while his comments are interesting, I think they have to be weighed properly given his access and standing.”

Just two days before Ardestani’s announcement, the president of the Iranian Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharrazi, told Al-Jazeera Network Qatar, “I announced two years ago, in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV, that Iran had the absorptive capacity and the capability to produce a nuclear bomb.

Iran still has that capability, but we have not made the decision to produce a nuclear bomb. However, if the Iranian interests are threatened in this manner, we may change this doctrine.

The military officials in Iran have announced that if our nuclear facilities would be attacked, we may change our military doctrine, with regard to the nuclear facilities.” The U.S.-based Middle East Media Institute (MEMRI) translated and published Kharrazi’s May 8 interview.