Nuclear reactor, Isfahan, Iran - AP - 2009/2011
In a photo from 2009, Iranian technicians work at a facility producing uranium fuel for a planned heavy-water nuclear reactor, just outside the city of Isfahan. Photo by AP
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A prominent Iranian lawmaker says Iran has the knowledge and scientific capability to produce nuclear weapons but will never do so.

Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam says Iran can easily produce the highly enriched uranium that is used to build atomic bombs but it is not Tehran's policy to go that route.

Moghadam made the comment in an interview with the parliament's news website, icana.ir, late Friday. His views do not represent the Iranian government's policy. It is the first time that a prominent Iranian politician has publicly stated that Iran has the technological capability to produce a nuclear weapon.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama recently passed a message to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which signaled that the United States would agree to an Iranian civilian nuclear program if they proved they were not developing a nuclear bomb.

According to David Ignatius, the Washington Post's senior columnist specializing in intelligence matters, Obama passed Khamenei the message through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited Tehran this week.