COMMENTARY | A member of the Iranian Parliament released a statement of how Iran has the capability of making nuclear weapons but will never do so, according to the Associated Press. As someone who has studied politics for years, I do not find any comfort in this statement. If anything, it makes me more concerned about Iran's overall statements.
Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam wants to reassure the world that Iran is not interested in making nuclear weapons. He is a parliamentary official and not the official voice of the Iranian government. This statement would hold the same weight as if a member of Congress made a statement about U.S. plans. A member of Congress does not have the authority to state the plans of the country as this action would be reserved for President Barack Obama or possibly a member of his Cabinet.
The concern stems from the idea of a person from Iran admitting the nation has the capability of making nuclear weapons. The statements we have seen in the past have all centered on the idea of Iran enriching uranium for purely peaceful methods and wishing to use it as an alternative power source. There has been no previous mention I have been able to find where a member of the Iranian government stated they had the actual ability to create nuclear weapons. This admission scares me as it could give Israel and other countries more of a reason for a preemptive strike against the country.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have stated their country has no interest in creating nuclear weapons. The only extra step these leaders have taken was when Ahmadinejad stated that if the country were to create nuclear weapons it would create them in the sight of the world. This recent statement by Moghadam changes the context to the previous messages from Iran. The old messages now appear as if information was being held back.
Since the message from a parliamentary member should not hold weight about Iran not wishing to create nuclear weapons, the statement about them having the ability to create nuclear weapons should not hold much weight either. The continued mixed signals coming out of Iran should be considered as either a way to hide the truth or to buy time to create what they say they will never create. Only time will tell.