Iran Says Close to Making Nuclear Bomb, Israel Warns of Military Action

After a senior Iranian leader revealed that the country is technically capable of making a nuclear bomb, Israeli military chief said the IDF is fully prepared for military action against Iran.

On Sunday, a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran can make the nuclear bomb but has not decided whether to go ahead or not.

"Iran has the technical ability to build a nuclear bomb ... but has not made a decision to build an atomic bomb", Kamal Kharrazi, a close advisor to the supreme leader, told Al Jazeera.

Kharrazi also said Iran has conducted extensive preparations that make it capable of striking 'deep inside Israel' is Iranian nuclear sites are targeted by Tel Aviv.

Israel military
Israel military Wikimedia commons

The Iranian claim came days after US president Joe Biden said in Jerusalem the US is committed to using military force in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

The US-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration signed by Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid says Washington will use "all elements of national power" to stop Tehran from making a nuclear weapon.

The Jerusalem Declaration underscores the US "commitment never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome."

Natanz Nuclear Facility
Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant in Iran Twitter

Israel issued a clear warning to Iran following the claim. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi stated that the Israeli military is factoring in the possibility of a military action against Iran to stop its nuclear pursuit.

"Preparing the home front for war is a task that must be accelerated in the coming years, especially in light of the possibility that we will be required to act against the nuclear threat," Kohavi said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

"The IDF continues to prepare vigorously for an attack on Iran and must prepare for any development and any scenario. Preparing a military option against the Iranian nuclear program is a moral obligation and a national security order," he added.

Bushehr Nuclear Plant, Iran
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi in Bushehr Nuclear Plant. Hossein Heidarpour / Wikimedia Commons

There is no clarity about the uranium enrichment levels that Tehran has achieved. Under the terms of a 2015 multi-lateral agreement with the West, Tehran is not allowed to enrich uranium beyond 3.67 percent. However, in January 2021, Tehran said it enriched uranium to 20 percent levels. Another claim followed, saying uranium was enriched to 60 percent levels at another nuclear facility.

A week ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran had changed the process of uranium enrichment at its underground Fordo plant to achieve 20 percent levels. Iran has to enrich uranium to the 90 percent levels to make military grade uranium.

In May, an overseas Iranian resistance group warned that Tehran is using the nuclear negotiations as a cover for the relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) adds that Iran is close to building a nuclear weapon and has been making incremental progress all these years.

NCRI is based in Paris, but the organization works with the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK, which has operatives inside Iran who gather sensitive information on Iran's nuclear weapons program.

"The Iranian resistance, mainly the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, have been the key factor, the key player that has brought the issue of the Iranian nuclear program to the international attention," said Shahin Gobadi, the spokesperson for NCRI.