Former Iranian diplomat Seyyed Hadi Seyyed Afghahi claimed in a TV interview this week that the nuclear bomb is only a pretext, a lie, or a fabrication and that Iran does not seek to produce one.

Speaking to Jordan-based Al-Mamlaka TV in an interview translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Afghahi continued to say that if Iran did want to produce a nuclear bomb, it would be capable of doing so, as it has already enriched uranium metal to 60-80%.

He added that if Iran had wanted to produce a nuclear bomb, it would not seek the permission of America and Israel.

"We have put the issue of the nuclear bomb behind us. We are not about to manufacture one, and if we had wanted to make one, we would not have feared anyone, and nobody would have been able to prevent us from doing this. We are not seeking to obtain a nuclear bomb,” said Afghani.

"Iran is already capable of producing a nuclear bomb. Iran has managed to enrich uranium metal. Uranium metal is enriched for medical, research, scientific, and military purposes. They are now using uranium metal, which has been enriched to 60%-80%, and no one is accusing them of trying to obtain a nuclear bomb," he stated.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

In April, the Islamic Republic announced it would begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, a move that would take the uranium much closer to the 90% suitable for a nuclear bomb.

Last month, Iran announced it has already produced 6.5 kg (14 lb) of uranium enriched to up to 60%.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran has begun the process of producing enriched uranium metal.

These moves come even as Iran has been holding indirect talks with the US in Vienna on resuming compliance with the 2015 deal.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)