This Is Bad: Iran Has Finally Done It

On the heels of President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signing a joint declaration last week pledging to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, a senior Iranian official stated in a new report that the Islamic Republic already possesses the capability to build a nuclear bomb but has not yet decided to do so.

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“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60 percent and we can easily produce 90 percent enriched uranium. . . . Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one,” Kamal Kharrazi, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

According to Reuters, the adviser also stated that Iran will retaliate directly against Israel if its security is threatened.

Tehran previously stated that it was processing uranium for civilian energy purposes.

Iran’s claim of nuclear expertise is the most recent exchange between Tehran and the United States on nuclear weapons.

In 2018, as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign, then-President Donald Trump formally abandoned the nuclear deal between Iran and numerous international powers that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, had negotiated in July 2015.

According to the provisions of the deal, Iran committed to destroy a substantial portion of its nuclear program and open its facilities to increased international scrutiny in exchange for the removal of severe economic sanctions.

The Biden administration has signaled its readiness to sign on to a deal to resurrect the Iran nuclear deal, technically known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but so far these efforts have not yielded significant results.

According to Reuters, indirect discussions between the United States and Iran, with Russia functioning as an intermediary, have stopped since March.

Even as it pursues diplomatic efforts with Iran, the Biden administration also continues to assure allies in the region it will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power.

“The United States stresses that integral to this pledge is the commitment never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome,” said the statement signed by Biden and Lapid in Israel on Thursday.

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After visiting Israel, Biden’s next stop was Saudi Arabia, where he landed on Friday.

Reuters reported Saturday that in a joint statement put out by the Saudi state news agency, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia agreed on the importance of stopping Iran from “acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

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The statement went on to say Biden also affirmed the U.S. commitment to supporting “Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defense, and facilitating the Kingdom’s ability to obtain necessary capabilities to defend its people and territory against external threats.”

Biden’s four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia marked his first visit to the Middle East since taking office.