An ex-Iran nuclear chief hinted at the possibility that scientists had been creating nuclear bombs secretly despite years of denial.

Fereydoun Abubasi Davani, ex-head, Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation acknowledged a system existed that had military capabilities.

Ayatollah Ali Khanei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, had issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons development and use. However leaders have repeatedly stated that nuclear power was only intended to be used for peaceful purposes.

Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the ex-head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, has hinted that Tehran's nuclear programme was geared towards creating a nuclear bomb

Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the ex-head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, has hinted that Tehran’s nuclear programme was geared towards creating a nuclear bomb

It comes as Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett called on world powers today not to ‘give in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail’ by ending sanctions ‘in exchange for almost nothing’ as talks began in Vienna aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal. 

After a five month hiatus the talks resumed with Iran “determined” to strike a deal, despite Israel’s fears.

Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which have threatened to launch military strikes, is preparing for “Plan B” if negotiations fail. 

The tensions come on the first anniversary of the assassination of senior scientist and former deputy defence minister Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed by Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

Israel charged him with being responsible for the creation of nuclear weapons.

Abbasi-Davani all but confirmed Israel’s version of events, saying Fakhrizadeh had a key role in the nuclear ‘system’ which was why he was assassinated.

The comments come on the first anniversary of the assassination of senior scientist and former deputy defence minister Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (pictured)

This comment comes on the 1st anniversary of Mohsen Fakrizadeh’s assassination.

According to The Times, he stated that “When all-encompassing country growth started to involve satellites and missiles as well as nuclear weapons, and overcame new limits of knowledge, it became more serious.”

«Our position on nuclear weapons was based on the Supreme Leader’s explicit fatwa about nuclear weapons being Haram. It is clear that Fakhrizadeh invented this system, and his concern wasn’t only for our defense.

«Our country supports resistance front’s Axis of Resistance Front [against Israel]The Zionists are sensitive when you go into this realm. 

Since the US pulled out of the historic nuclear deal between the world powers and Iran, Iran has increased its uranium enrichment.

Israel had vocally rejected the agreement. Officials in Israel now claim Tehran is more likely than ever before to develop nuclear weapons, something that it will not accept.

Yair Lepid, Israel’s Foreign Minister will be visiting London and Paris next week in order to meet with British officials and French counterparts. Benny Gantz (Israel’s Defense Minister) will be heading to Washington with the same goal.

Trump’s decision not to withdraw from the deal and restore the crippling sanctions was responsible for the breakdown of the agreement.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had even issued a fatwa against developing and using nuclear weaponry

Ayatollah Ali Khanei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, had issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons development and use

Although Israel is believed to have the sole nuclear-armed nation in the Middle East it has a policy that leaves little doubt about the details of its programme. 

The IDF said they were keeping an eye out for talks, are wary of Iran’s proxies and are increasing their exercises with the reserve force in what is expected to be the biggest training operation in many years. 

The IDF is conducting joint drills with Gulf Arab countries, and a multilateral maritime security exercise will be held this month, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Also, air drills were conducted with the US and their Gulf allies, including forces from Germany.

Col. Aviran, Marom Division Commander said the report shows that Israel may soon be a member of a regional military coalition. 

He stated that the army must do all it can to prepare for any future conflicts. The Americans are strategic allies to us and we could see a day when we work together and fight.   

After the election of Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative president, international nuclear talks were stopped in June. At the time, diplomats claimed they were close to reaching an agreement.

The international nuclear discussions were paused in June after the election of an ultraconservative new president, Ebrahim Raisi (pictured yesterday)

After the election of Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative president (pictured yesterday), international nuclear talks were put on hold in June.

Iran has refused Western requests to resume talks over the past several months. This despite having increased its capabilities as a nuclear power. Raisi declared that Iran was open to further talks in August. 

While the US is represented by diplomats, they will also be joined by those from Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia. Indirect participation in the negotiations

Iran stated Monday that it was firmly determined to come to an agreement, and looks forward to productive talks.

Said Khatibzadeh, spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, stated that if the other side is willing to do the same, then we can reach an agreement.

Robert Malley, the US’ Special Envoy to Iran, stated last week that Tehran’s position ‘does not bode well for negotiations’.

Malley said to the US National Public Radio, “If they start getting closer, too near for comfort, then we will not accept being idly by them,”

A general view of Palais Coburg, the site of a meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in Vienna for the Iran talks

View of Palais Coburg from Vienna. This is the location of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action meeting (JCPOA).

EU is the host of the talks. It stated Monday that it was crucial to continue from June and to have all parties work quickly and constructively in order to get the JCPOA on track. 

JCPOA provided Iran with an opportunity to be freed from some of its economic sanctions in exchange for tighter controls on its nuclear programme.

The deal fell apart in 2018, when Donald Trump, then the US president, pulled out of it and reinstated sanctions against Iran.

Iranians living in ordinary circumstances hope that the talks will lead to lifting some of these crippling sanctions.

Davoud Loffinia, a Tehrani resident who was unemployed, stated to AFP that while the sanctions didn’t affect the authorities in any way it did not impact the purchasing power for ordinary citizens.

Iran began to surpass the limitations on its nuclear activities set forth in the agreement one year after Trump’s announcement.

It has been enriching uranium at unprecedented levels in recent months. The IAEA, the UN watchdog responsible for Iran’s nuclear facilities, has had to restrain its activities.

Rafael Grossi, Director General of IAEA, stated that ‘no progress was made’ on the issues that he brought up during his visit to Tehran last Thursday. This had been hoped for to resolve differences between Iran and IAEA.

Henry Rome, a specialist in Iran at the Eurasia group think tank, said that Iran’s refusal to agree with an IAEA compromise reflects badly on the prospects for nuclear negotiations.

Israel's prime minister Naftali Bennett called on world powers today not to 'give in to Iran's nuclear blackmail'

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Prime Minister, urged world powers to resist Iran’s nuclear blackmail today.

“Iran might calculate that its nuclear advancements are unrestrained…will put more pressure upon the West to yield in talks quickly,” Rome warned, noting this could have the opposite effect.

Kelsey Davenport from the Arms Control Association stated that Iran’s nuclear advancements are becoming increasingly dangerous. This was according to her last week. 

Davenport stated that Iran was acting as if the United States would blink first. However, pressure can be a double-edged weapon which could end any possibility of the 2015 deal being renegotiated.

Davenport stated that if there is a gap in IAEA monitoring it could lead to speculations that Iran engaged in illicit activities, or that there’s evidence. This would in turn undermine the chances of the deal being sustained.

London: Yair Lapid, a top diplomat from Israel, was due to meet Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, on Monday and Emmanuel Macron, President of France, in Paris, on Tuesday.

Truss and Lapid had published an article in Daily Telgraph saying that they would work ‘night and day’ to stop Iran becoming a nuclear-power before the meeting.

Liz Truss, British foreign minister, stated that Britain wanted Iran to accept the JCPOA. However she warned that all options were available if talks fail.