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We will build nuclear weapons if our existence is threatened – Iran warns US and Israel

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran has warned its adversaries the US and Israel that it could be pushed into building a nuclear weapon if Israel threatens its existence.

“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,” said Kamal Kharrazi, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Thursday, May 9.

“In the case of an attack on our nuclear facilities by the Zionist regime, our deterrence will change,” he was reported as saying by Iran’s Student News Network.

Khamenei, who has the final say on Nuclear projects, banned the development of nuclear weapons in a fatwa, or religious edict, in the early 2000s, saying it is “haram”, or forbidden in Islam.

But in 2021, Iran’s then-intelligence minister said Western pressure could push the Islamic republic to seek nuclear weapons.

Iran is enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity, whereas weapons-grade uranium is enriched to about 90 percent. If the current nuclear material on hand were enriched further, it would suffice for two nuclear weapons, according to an official yardstick by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The confrontation between Iran and Israel erupted into open confrontation in April, after a suspected Israeli strike on Iran’s embassy compound in the Syrian capital, Damascus, which killed seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including two generals who led the elite Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon.

Iran retaliated by launching about 300 missiles and drones against Israel.

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