Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, says Iran never issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons, despite a claim by President Barack Obama that it did.
"Obama made the statement at the U.N. that the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, issued a fatwa several years ago against the use of nuclear weapons," Emerson told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"MEMRI [The Middle East Media Research Institute], which is a fantastic organization, did a whole investigation and found that it didn't exist. It never was made," Emerson said Tuesday.
A fatwa, a religious decree that in some cases calls for death, must be declared in a written document, not merely stated, Emerson said.
"So, maybe this was invisible ink or it was mentally communicated or it came from aliens. Who knows?" he said.
Last week, Obama spoke by phone with President Hassan Rouhani — the first talk between a U.S. and an Iranian president since before the 1979 Iranian revolution — signaling the possibility that diplomatic talks could resume.
Emerson criticized Secretary of State John Kerry, who, even before Obama spoke with Rouhani, said the United States could lift sanctions against Iran in a short period of time.
"He said he could wrap it up in six months. Wrap it up in six months? … Suddenly there's a love affair going on," he said.
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