A leading Iranian cleric claimed that Iran has the technical knowledge to develop a nuclear weapon, but that it chooses not to because it is religiously forbidden.
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami told Iranian military personnel that the Islamic republic had the means to enrich uranium to levels needed for nuclear weapons, the Guardian reported, citing an official Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp website.
“[We] can enrich uranium at 5% or 20%, as well as 40% to 50%, and even 90%,” the paper quoted Khatami saying. The report gave no indication when Khatami made the comments to officers in the western Kurdistan province.
Developing nuclear weapons, however, violated Islamic principles, he said.
Khatami also said that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had nixed any discussion of Iran’s missile system in the ongoing nuclear talks since the US did not “follow principles,” according to the report.
Read more: The Times of Israel