Iran exploiting global attention on Gaza to advance nuclear weaponization 

Amidst the global focus on Gaza, where Israel is engaged in conflict with Hamas, Iran is actively pursuing the advancement of its nuclear capabilities.

In what appears to be an effort to dispel suspicions surrounding its nuclear ambitions, Kamal Kharrazi, an advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a warning that Iran would reconsider its nuclear doctrine and develop nuclear weaponry if its facilities were targeted 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 stated.

“In the case of an attack on our nuclear facilities by the Zionist regime (Israel), our deterrence will change,” Kharrazi added. However, experts suggest that this declaration may be a tactic to divert attention away from Iran’s nuclear agenda.

Nuclear activities

Former US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra, who previously served as the American Ambassador to the Netherlands, expressed uncertainty regarding the current status of Iran’s nuclear program, highlighting the challenges in accurately assessing its progress.

Rafael Grossi, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited Iran to strengthen oversight of its nuclear activities, based on a joint statement signed in March 2023 between the IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Grossi emphasized the importance of implementing tangible measures outlined in the agreement.

Grossi’s visit coincided with heightened tensions following Iran’s direct attack on Israel on April 14. The conflict escalated after an alleged Israeli strike on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus, Syria, prompting retaliatory missile attacks from Iran.

Amidst the escalating tensions, concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions persist. Jonathan Ruhe, director of foreign policy at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), warned that Iran is close to achieving nuclear weapons capability, posing a significant threat to regional stability.

Despite warnings from international bodies like the IAEA, Western countries have been criticized for their lack of action in holding Iran accountable for its nuclear activities. Hoekstra emphasized Iran’s determination to expand its influence and advance its nuclear program, citing its enrichment of uranium to 60 percent purity as evidence of its progress.

Ruhe echoed these concerns, emphasizing the urgency of addressing Iran’s non-compliance with international regulations. He urged the US and Europe to impose robust sanctions on Iran to prevent further violations and safeguard global non-proliferation efforts.

As the world remains focused on ongoing conflicts, experts warn against overlooking Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which pose a significant threat to regional and global security.

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