Iran nuclear program
Iran nuclear programiStock

An Iranian lawmaker declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran possesses atomic weapons, Fox News reported.

"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," the lawmaker, Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, was quoted as having told the Iran-based outlet Rouydad 24.

The JCPOA is an abbreviation for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

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."

"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," he stated.

Iran has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018.

In September, Tehran barred a third of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) core inspections team, including the most experienced, from taking part in agreed monitoring of the enrichment process.

The IAEA has found that, between June and November last year, Iran slowed down the enrichment to 3 kg per month, but that jumped back up to a rate of 9 kg at the end of the year.

Iranian officials insist that nuclear weapons have no place in Iran's nuclear doctrine, and cite a fatwa (religious decree) by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which bans the development of nuclear weapons.