President Joe Biden has been "very clear" that the United States will not allow Iran to "have or possess a nuclear weapon," retired Rear Admiral John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, insisted during an interview Wednesday night with Newsmax.
"The president believes strongly that diplomacy is the best path to preventing them from having a nuclear weapon," Kirby told Newsmax's "The Record with Greta Van Susteren." "We will not allow them to have a nuclear weapon."
However, Iran's "breakout time" for producing a nuclear weapon is shorter after former President Donald Trump's administration pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran nuclear deal, said Kirby.
"They weren't under any constraints, and they've moved that program forward now to a much shorter distance in time, a much, much shorter time frame," said Kirby. "We still want them to sign onto this deal. The negotiations are basically complete. It's really just for Iran to go ahead and approve this deal so we can move forward."
Kirby's comments come after Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said earlier this week that Iran does have the technical capabilities needed to produce a nuclear bomb, but has no intention of making one.
His comments echoed those made in July by Kamal Kharrazi, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
"As Mr. Kharrazi mentioned, Iran has the technical ability to build an atomic bomb, but such a program is not on the agenda," Eslami said Monday.
However, state media affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced in social media posts this weekend, which were later shared on Twitter, that the regime can quickly build nuclear bombs that would "turn New York into ruins and hell."
The threat comes amid talks to rework the JCPOA, and the threat was interpreted "to produce atomic warheads for missiles" in a short amount of time "if the U.S. or the Zionist regime make any stupid mistakes," with the capability of "turning New York into hellish ruins," The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
Van Susteren commented to Kirby that Israel would also not want Iran to have nuclear weapons capabilities, but he told her he could only speak for Biden.
"We will not allow them to have a nuclear weapon," Kirby stressed. "No problem in the Middle East gets easier to solve if Iran has a nuclear weapon. There are plenty of problems already and we want to avoid that one being added to the mix."
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