Amid tensions escalating with Israel, Iran hints at nuclear doctrine change if threatened

Iran- Israel. In Image Iranian adviser Kamal Kharrazi/ courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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IBNS-CMEDIA: An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has once again raised concerns over the country’s nuclear ambitions amid escalating tensions with Israel. 

Kamal Kharrazi, the adviser, hinted at a shift in Iran’s nuclear doctrine if its existence is perceived to be under threat by Israel.

“We have no decision to build a nuclear bomb, but should Iran’s existence be threatened, there will be no choice but to change our military doctrine,” Kharrazi was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Tensions between Iran and Israel escalated when the former launched a barrage of explosive drones and missiles directly targeting Israeli territory, in response to the bombing of Iran’s embassy in Syria’s capital Damascus earlier in April.

Despite Ayatollah Khamenei’s previous fatwa against nuclear weapons development, Iran’s then-intelligence minister hinted in 2021 that external pressures, particularly from Western nations, could prompt a reassessment of Iran’s nuclear posture.

“In the case of an attack on our nuclear facilities by the Zionist regime (Israel), our deterrence will change,” Kharrazi said.

Amidst this backdrop, efforts to engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have yielded mixed results.

While discussions between Iran’s nuclear officials and IAEA representatives have been described as positive and productive, tangible progress remains elusive.

Rafael Grossi, the head of the IAEA, expressed frustration over Iran’s alleged lack of cooperation and highlighted the urgency for concrete measures to address outstanding concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear activities.

Last year, Iran made commitments to assist in investigating uranium particles found at undeclared sites and reinstall monitoring equipment. However, the IAEA reports indicate that these assurances have not resulted in significant advancements.