Iran will build a bomb in about six months, according to a senior official of the country’s Supreme National Security Council.
The statement by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei comes a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved the countrys bid for a licence to build the first of two units of a uranium enrichment facility.
The US is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, meaning Tehran can continue to build weapons-grade material without a licence.
But Iran’s atomic programme has drawn a long line in the sand, and Tehran has made no secret of its desire to build nuclear weapons.
In his statement, Khamenei said the “nation is preparing to complete the process of constructing a nuclear power plant in six months”.
He said that the plant would be the largest and most sophisticated in the world, with its capacity to produce at least 1,000 tonnes of uranium a year, and that it would have the capacity to be the world’s largest nuclear power.
Khamenei said Iran would also build an additional nuclear reactor to supply power to the country.
In a statement on Saturday, US President Donald Trump said Iran had “lost its moral compass” after the IAEA confirmed that Tehran has spent $10bn on uranium enrichment.
In December, the IEA said it had verified Iran’s nuclear programme in January 2019.
It said Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities were in line with the international consensus.