A social media channel affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced that the hardline regime is "one step away" from constructing a nuclear weapon that can "turn New York into ruins and hell."
The video, posted Saturday on a Telegram channel affiliated with the IRGC, details preparations underway at Iran’s Fordow nuclear site—which housed the country’s atomic weapons program and is a key cog in its program—to construct a bomb.
Nuclear work being performed at Fordow has "brought Iran one step away from having a nuclear deterrent and entry into the group of nuclear-armed states," according to the video, which was posted on Twitter by regional observers who track the online regime’s rhetoric. Iran can turn its nuclear program "into a nuclear weapons program in an instant" and target Israel and America with missiles, according to the video.
1)#Iran IRGC’s Telegram channel posted a video saying regime is now able to quickly build nuclear weapons & its ICBMs can "turn New York into ruins & hell!"
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) July 31, 2022
The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami, on Monday appeared to confirm many of the details included in the video, saying that Iran already has the "technical ability to build an atomic bomb" but has not yet made the political decision to do so, according to the BBC.
"Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one," senior Iranian adviser Kamal Kharrazi said last month in an interview, one of several in recent weeks that Iranian officials have participated in that suggest Iran is on the threshold of a bomb.
The threats come amid talks between Iran and the Biden administration surrounding a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear accord. The talks have long been stalled due to Iranian demands, including that the IRGC be removed from the U.S. terror list. While Iran’s latest claims may be exaggerated for propaganda purposes, the United States says the country’s nuclear program is just weeks away from producing enough fissile material to fuel an atomic bomb.
"The start of uranium enrichment at a secret facility deep in the deserts of Fordow has frightened the West and the Zionist regime," a narrator said in the video. "Iran has obtained enough material for building a nuclear bomb."
"If the United States or Zionist regime resorts to any stupidity, the Islamic Republic of Iran will begin producing atomic bombs as soon as possible," a caption accompanying the video states.
Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran's supreme leader may be inching closer to giving the green light on the construction of a nuclear bomb.
Iranian leader Ali Khamenei "sees two options in front of him. Option one is what Biden is offering him: JCPOA 2 which basically says you accept some limited and temporary restrictions on your nuclear program and in exchange we allow you to have more than one trillion dollars by 2030 and a patient pathway to nuclear bomb," Ghasseminejad said. "Option two is for Khamenei to go nuclear while Biden is president, then negotiate and force the world to accept a nuclear Islamic Republic. I think option two is looking more and more appealing to Khamenei because he perceives the Biden administration as a weak adversary."
Bryan Leib, executive director of Iranian-Americans for Liberty, an advocacy group, said Tehran's threats should be a sign to the Biden administration that it is time to end its talks with the country.
"This latest threat of an attack by the IRGC on U.S. soil should serve as the straw that breaks the camel's back regarding Biden's diplomacy and appeasement strategy with the world's leading sponsor of terrorism," Leib said. "I am beyond disgusted with the Biden administration that instead of responding to this provocation with strength, they will likely ignore it all together. Shame on this administration for emboldening Tehran."
The video also states that the most sensitive portions of Iran’s nuclear program are kept in a bunker dug into the side of a mountain. This site can withstand an attack from either the United States or Israel, it claims.
Along with Iran’s ballistic missile program—which is not being addressed as part of ongoing negotiations with the West—the video claims the country has "the capability to turn New York into ruins and hell."