(Washington Examiner) — Mohammed Javad Larivani, Secretary General for the High Council for Human Rights of Iran, said that nuclear weapons violate Islam, and he denounced the independent report that Iran has a nuclear weapons program as a United States-driven report, and maintained that Iran is more transparent than the United States and the “renegade state” of Israel.

“We are not pursuing the nuclear armament for two basic reasons,” Larivani said today on Morning Joe. “Number one, there is a fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader [of Iran], that it is against Islam[ic views of] prudence to build and use mass destruction weapons.” He added that nuclear weapons are “unlawful” under the fatwa. “Secondly, it doesn’t aid our security. It is more of a liability than an asset for us. Our military muscle is strong enough to deter or repel any imminent threat,” Larivani said.

“Quite frankly its impossible to take the Iranian denial seriously; they’re preposterous,” responded Richard Haas, a former State Department adviser, now preisdent of the Council on Foreign Relations. “There is a pattern — not a single incident, a pattern — over years of an Iranian program to move in the direction of nuclear weapons.”

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