February 9, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9174

Iranian Minister Of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi: Iran Has No Intention To Pursue Nuclear Weapons, But If You Corner A Cat, Its Behavior Might Change

February 9, 2021
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 9174

Iranian Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi spoke about Iran's nuclear industry and the circumstances that would direct it towards producing nuclear weapons. He made his remarks in an interview with Channel 2, (Iran) that aired on February 8, 2021. He said that the JCPOA had not terminated the Iranian nuclear industry, that it has increased in quality, and now "operates in full force." He stated that the Iranian nuclear program is a peaceful one, and according to Supreme Leader Khamenei's anti-nuclear weapons fatwa, it is not allowed to produce nuclear weapons (for more about Khamenei's alleged anti-nuclear fatwa, see MEMRI Inquiry and analysis series Nos. 1478, 1458, 825, 1022 and 1151 and Special Dispatches No. 5406 and 5461). However, Alavi said, like a cornered cat, Iran might "change its behavior" if pushed. He emphasized that if Iran is forced to produce nuclear weapons, this would not be Iran's fault but the fault of those who pushed it in that direction.

To view the clip of Iranian Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

"The JCPOA Has Not Terminated Iran's Nuclear Industry[;] This Industry's Scope Has Been Reduced, But It Has Increased In Quality"

Mahmoud Alavi: "The JCPOA has not terminated Iran's nuclear industry. This industry's scope has been reduced, but it has increased in quality.


"On the very day that we decided, in keeping with the Leader's orders, to begin [uranium enrichment] to 20%, we did it. Our nuclear capabilities remain intact, and our nuclear industry operates in full force. Our research and development has brought the IR6 [centrifuges] to production and made them operational. Each IR6 centrifuge does the work of ten old [IR1] centrifuges. It requires less space but has higher output.

"Our Nuclear Industry Is For Peaceful Purposes... [But] If Iran Is Pushed [To Produce Nuclear Weapons] It Would Not Be Iran's Fault"

"Our nuclear industry is for peaceful purposes. The leader said explicitly in his fatwa that producing nuclear weapons contradicts the shari'a and that the Islamic Republic does not pursue this and considers this forbidden. However, when you push a cat to the corner, it might behave differently from a free cat.

"If Iran is pushed in that direction, it would not be Iran's fault, but the fault of those who pushed it. Under normal circumstances, Iran has no such plans or intentions."

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