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September 30, 2013 3:10 pm

Middle East Institute: No Evidence for Obama Claim of Iranian Fatwa Against Nuclear Weapons

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The Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor in Iran. Photo: Nanking2012/Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org There is no evidence documenting the claim by U.S. President Barack Obama that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against the development of nuclear weapons, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“I do believe that there is a basis for resolution. Iran’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons,” Obama said during a White House press conference on Sept. 27, following a call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

But MEMRI, in a report issued Sept. 30, said that it has never found evidence confirming the fatwa.

“MEMRI has conducted in-depth research with regard to this ‘fatwa’ and has published reports demonstrating that it is a fiction,” MEMRI said.

MEMRI claims that the fatwa is an eight-year-old hoax perpetrated by Iranian diplomats and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Iranian regime officials’ presentation of statements on nuclear weapons attributed to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as a fatwa, or religious edict, when no such fatwa existed or was issued by him, is a propaganda effort to propose to the West a religiously valid substitute for concrete guarantees of inspectors’ access to Iran’s nuclear facilities,” MEMRI wrote in a previous report in April 2012.

This past July, MEMRI issued a detailed list documenting 493 fatwas by Ayatollah Khamenei dating back to 2004.

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  • Matt

    Why did we spend all the time looking and locating blacksites like Qum. Because the program is a cover for an illicit program inside the program. And thus the program the stockpile and level of enrichment are expendable. While it could be used for weapons that was not it purpose it was merely cover and to be used to have sanctions removed once they completed the illicit program inside the program. Crumbs for the west that is the nuclear deal, it is worthless. The fact Iran are moving to end game to have sanctions lifted show they have completed their objective one at the end of 2010 and three a year since that is 10 bombs. The fact of the world is in the Ayatollahs hands now he is a god. Self defense is our role it is his decision and his alone if wants the end of the world.