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Iran 'Has the Formula' for Nuclear Bombs, Says Hardline Cleric

FILE - Iranian senior cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers his sermon during Friday prayers, in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 5, 2018.

The Friday Prayer Imam of Tehran and influential conservative cleric Ahmad Khatami has said that Iran “has the formula for building a nuclear bomb.”

IRNA reports that during a mourning ceremony in Mashhad on February 9 Khatami has announced, “Iran never had the intention to build an atomic bomb. Of course we have the formula but we do not want to use weapons of mass destruction.”

Iranian officials have always denied any move toward building nuclear weapons. On this occasion, Khatami did not elaborate about Tehran having “the formula.”

Khatami is seen in Iran as a staunch supporter of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who usually repeats or echoes his hardline positions.

Three years ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano reported that prior to 2003 and until 2009 Iran did engage in activities toward developing the know-how for nuclear explosions.

Iran has been able to enrich uranium to 20 percent, which is relatively easy to enrich further to more than the 90 percent needed for a nuclear bomb.

On Sunday, Khatami continued to speak about nuclear and military power, saying that the U.S. was able to contain the development of Iran’s nuclear power and now ballistic missiles are the only thing left for Iran.

Khatami also admitted that U.S. sanctions have led to hardship for the people and tried to argue that Khamenei’s initiatives to deal with the economic crisis has helped prevent a much worse outcome.