IRANIAN LAWMAKER: TEHRAN IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Iran has the knowledge and scientific capability to produce nuclear weapons but will never do so, a prominent lawmaker said. Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam is a parliamentarian, not a government official, and his views do not represent the government's policy. It is the first time, however, that such a prominent Iranian politician has publicly stated that Iran has the technological capability to produce a nuclear weapon.

His assertion published on parliament's website, www.icana.ir, late Friday suggests that Iran is trying to show unity in its political establishment around its often-repeated claims that it seeks world-class technological advances, including nuclear expertise, but does not want to develop atomic arms as the United States and its allies claim.

Moghadam said Iran can easily produce the highly enriched uranium that is used to build atomic bombs, but that it is not Tehran's policy to go that route. "Iran has the scientific and technological capability to produce [a] nuclear weapon, but will never choose this path," he said.

ASSOCIATED PRESS