Iran’s intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, sent a strong warning message to the West, announcing that his country could start making nuclear weapons if international sanctions against Tehran remain in place, Iranian state television reported on Feb. 9.

Alavi’s statements attracted the attention of the international community, since it is unusual for a government official to send such a message in an official announcement in which he proposes to reverse the course of the nuclear program.

Questions about Iranian nuclear program

Several countries, starting with the United States under the Trump administration over the past few years, have denounced the possibility that Iran is preparing a structure for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. 

Israel is another country that has long accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran has always insisted that the program is only for peaceful purposes, such as power generation and medical research. 

However the threat recently issued by Alavi, gives credence to the nuclear arms buildup.

Why US withdrew from the Iranian nuclear pact

The nuclear pact signed in 2015 between Iran and world powers theoretically placed limits on Iranian nuclear activities to prevent it from reaching weaponization capabilities. In return, Iran received relief from sanctions imposed by the international community. 

In 2018, former President Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement, arguing precisely that the poor negotiation “allows Iran to build a nuclear arsenal in a short time.”

Among his main objections he stated that the deal left very tough sanctions against Iran without effect in exchange for a very weak limitation of its nuclear activity, and without any limit on other behavior by the regime, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other parts of the world. 

President Biden’s options

Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden is implementing a series of actions aimed at reversing Trump’s policies, among them he announced a return to the nuclear pact although he did not give further details or official confirmations

It would not be strange if the message sent by the Iranian authorities is aimed at persuading Biden to hasten the reversal of the official U.S. position and return to the nuclear pact, through which Iran has benefited and intends to do so again.

In late January, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a televised Cabinet meeting, demonstrated his affinity with the Biden administration as reported by Axios.

Rouhani announced that in order to fulfill its nuclear commitments he demanded that the United States return to the nuclear pact, “If Washington returns to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, we will also fully respect our commitments under the pact.”