Iranian parliamentarian and cleric Mohammed Nabavian maintains that his nation's nuclear program is benign in nature, while also acknowledging that the ability to build atomic weapons is a goal, as such weapons will be needed to "put down Israel."
"We are not looking for a nuclear bomb, but having a nuclear bomb is necessary to put down Israel," Iranian media quoted Nabavian as telling a political conference in recent weeks.
According to Nabavian, the Western-brokered nuclear deal notwithstanding, Iran can put together a nuclear bomb in a matter of weeks if and when it chooses to do so.
The lawmaker also belittled US President Barack Obama, whom he said pushed so hard for the nuclear agreement signed in Geneva because of America's string of humiliating failures in the Middle East of late.
"In Syria, the US did not manage to attack and was humiliated. In practice, Obama was humiliated because he did not stand up to Iran, and hence it is necessary to meet with Iran's president to show that he is a strong man and tell the world: I brought Iran to the negotiating table after 30 years."
Nabavia also admitted that Iran had reached the point that it needed the Geneva deal, too, as Western sanctions had begun to take a big bite out of the Islamic Republic's crucial oil revenues.
Translation of the Iranian media reports courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)