Iran refuses to develop nuclear weapons

Iran refuses to develop nuclear weapons

Iran does not plan to develop nuclear weapons, since it is costly and contrary to religious beliefs, the head of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei, said yesterday, Interfax reported. Thus, he responded to a statement made by the US National Security Advisor to the President, John Bolton, that it makes no sense for Iran to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), except to resume work on nuclear weapons.

As The American Conservative writes in the article Bolton Brazenly Lies About Iran Again, Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Wednesday there was “no reason” for Iran to back out of its nuclear deal with world powers other than to seek atomic weapons, a year after the U.S. president unilaterally withdrew America from the accord. Bolton and other administration officials have promoted the lie that Iran seeks nuclear weapons for months. Unfortunately, members of Congress and the press have largely failed to call out these lies for what they are. There is no evidence to support the administration’s claims, and there is overwhelming evidence that they are wrong, but if they can get away with saying these things without being challenged they may not need evidence to get the crisis that Bolton and others like him want.

The U.S. has been trying to push Iran to abandon the deal for more than a year, and at the first sign that Iran begins to reduce its compliance in order to push back against the administration’s outrageous economic warfare Bolton tries to misrepresent it as proof that they seek nuclear weapons. 

Iran has set a July 7 deadline for Europe to offer better terms to the unraveling nuclear deal, otherwise it will resume enrichment closer to weapons level.  “There’s no reason for them to do (higher enrichment) unless it is to reduce the breakout time to nuclear weapons,” Bolton said.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration ended the sanctions waivers that enabled Iran to ship its excess low-enriched uranium out of the country. They made it practically impossible for Iran to do what they have been reliably doing for years, and now Bolton blames Iran for the consequences of administration actions. The administration has deliberately put Iran in a bind so that they either give up the enrichment that they are entitled to do under the JCPOA or exceed the restrictions on their stockpile so that the U.S. can then accuse them of a violation. Left out in all of this is that the U.S. is no longer a party to the deal and violated all of its commitments more than a year ago.

The reason that Iran is threatening to enrich its uranium to a higher level is that the U.S. has been relentlessly sanctioning them despite their total compliance with the terms of the JCPOA. The Trump administration has done all it could to deny Iran the benefits of the deal, and then Bolton has the gall to say that they have no other reason to reduce their compliance. Of course Iran does have another reason, and that is to put pressure on the other remaining parties to the deal to find a way to get Iran the benefits it was promised. It is a small step taken in response to the administration’s own destructive policy, and it is not evidence of anything else. Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, and it is grossly irresponsible to treat unfounded administration claims about this as anything other than propaganda and lies, the American Conservative writes.