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Iran’s nuclear bomb warning to Israel raises concern amid war with Hamas.

An adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stoked concerns over the country’s nuclear ambitions, especially amidst escalating tensions with Israel. Kamal Kharrazi, the adviser, hinted at a potential shift in Iran’s nuclear doctrine if its existence is perceived to be under threat from 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 said.

Tensions between Iran and Israel reached a boiling point when Iran launched a barrage of explosive drones and missiles directly targeting Israeli territory in April, in retaliation for the bombing of Iran’s embassy in Damascus, Syria.

While Ayatollah Khamenei had previously issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons development, Iran’s former intelligence minister suggested 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 added.

Amidst this backdrop, efforts to engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have yielded mixed results. While discussions between Iranian nuclear officials and IAEA representatives have been described as positive and productive, tangible progress remains elusive. Rafael Grossi, the IAEA’s head, expressed frustration over Iran’s alleged lack of cooperation, highlighting the urgency for concrete measures to address outstanding concerns.

Last year, Iran committed to assisting in investigating uranium particles found at undeclared sites and reinstalling monitoring equipment. However, the IAEA reports indicate that these assurances have not translated into significant advancements.

“The present state is completely unsatisfactory for me. We are almost at an impasse, and this needs to be changed,” Grossi said.

During discussions between Grossi and Iranian officials, both sides acknowledged a 2023 agreement as a potential framework for cooperation, but implementation has been slow. Additionally, concerns were raised about external interference, particularly from Israel, which Iran views as a hostile actor.

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