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Iran warns of the possibility of starting the production of nuclear bombs

Iran warns of the possibility of starting the production of nuclear bombs

A senior Iranian official has warned that Tehran may change its nuclear doctrine and start building nuclear bombs if the state's existence is threatened.

Kamal Kharrazi, head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations and a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in an Arabic-language interview with Al-Jazeera that Iran "has the capacity to produce bombs," even though the country does not has taken concrete steps to build bombs.

"Two years ago in an interview with Al-Jazeera, I announced that Iran has the capacity to produce a nuclear bomb. Even today we have this capacity, but we do not intend to produce a nuclear bomb. However, if Iran's existence is threatened, we will change our nuclear doctrine," he said.

Kharrazi's statements were made at a time when tensions between Iran and Israel have escalated, while the international community has expressed concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions. The Islamic Republic has consistently claimed that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, despite possessing the technical capabilities to turn it into a weapons program.

The 2015 nuclear deal lifted US sanctions on Iran, but in 2018 then-US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and Washington has since reimposed sanctions on Iran that have crippled the Islamic Republic's economy.

Efforts to revive the agreement have failed and Tehran has violated the terms of the agreement by producing highly enriched uranium.

In March, Bloomberg News quoted a senior US Defense Department official as saying that Iran is less than 12 days away from possessing the materials needed to produce a nuclear bomb.

The warning about the change in nuclear doctrine follows last month's incident, when Israel reportedly targeted a radar system at a base near the Iranian city of Isfahan.

The attack followed an incident on April 13, when Iran retaliated against an Israeli attack on the Consulate in Damascus that killed seven senior officials of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles at Israel, although almost all of them failed to hit targets inside Israel.

After Khamenei issued a fatwa - religious ruling - against nuclear weapons in 2005, officials have insisted that Tehran's nuclear program was strictly for civilian purposes. But, in recent years, the rhetoric has changed.

During the interview, Kharrazi also warned against attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities.

"If they want to attack Iran's nuclear capabilities, that would lead to a change in Iran's nuclear doctrine," he said.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, warned earlier this month that Iran is just weeks away from possessing enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear bomb. He criticized Tehran for not cooperating properly with the agency and urged Tehran to change its nuclear policy.

Kharrazi also hinted at the possibility of Tehran withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and potentially moving towards developing nuclear weapons. Even in the past, Iran has warned that it will leave this treaty, if the regime felt threatened./ Rel

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