Iran threatens to ‘reconsider' nuclear doctrine if Israel attacks its nuke sites

Tensions are on the boil amid speculation that Israel is considering military response to Iran's weekend attack

16:41 - 18/04/2024 Thursday
File photo
File photo

Iran threatened on Thursday to “reconsider” its nuclear doctrine if Israel moved to attack any of the Iranian nuclear facilities amid heightened tensions between the two regional foes.

Brigadier General Ahmed Haqtalab, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in charge of protection of nuclear centers, said Iran will respond if its nuclear facilities are threatened by Israel.

The warning comes amid speculations that Tel Aviv is mulling a military response to IRGC's unprecedented direct attack on multiple positions in Israel on Saturday that involved hundreds of missiles and drones.

Tehran said the attack was in response to the April 1 attack on the Iranian Consulate in Damascus that killed seven Iranian military officers, including two top-ranking IRGC commanders for Syria and Lebanon.

Israeli officials have warned of retaliation despite many Western countries urging restraint and de-escalation of tensions.

Haqtalab said if Israel takes action against Iranian nuclear facilities and centers, it will "definitely face response" in the form of attacks on Israeli nuclear centers.

"The threat of the Zionist regime against Iran's nuclear facilities makes it possible to revise and deviate from the declared nuclear policies and considerations," he was quoted by local media as saying, referring to the doctrine under which Iran has chosen not to ramp up its nuclear enrichment up to weapons grade.

He said based on international protocols and regulations defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), all countries are obliged to refrain from attacking nuclear facilities, but Iran is "prepared to deal with all threats."

The IRGC commander said Iran has the "necessary information" to identify nuclear targets in Israel and "hands are on the trigger" if the need arises.

He accused Israel of "violating all international laws and regulations" by carrying out an attack on Iran's diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital, calling it a "criminal act."

Israel has been accused of targeting Iranian nuclear facilities and killing Iranian nuclear scientists in the past as well, most notably Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, dubbed as the father of the Iranian nuclear program, who was assassinated on the outskirts of Tehran in November 2020.

Iranian political and military leaders have threatened a "decisive response" in case Israel attacks Iranian interests again, with President Ebrahim Raisi at the annual Army Day parade in Tehran on Wednesday reiterating the clearly-worded warning.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who landed in New York for a UN Security Council meeting on full Palestinian membership on Thursday, has also warned of a "strong response" in his conversations with foreign counterparts in recent days.

His deputy and Iran's lead nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, on Monday said any fresh military action by Israel against Iran will see a response "within seconds."

"In the event of another mistake (by Israel), they must expect a response that is more swift and strong," he asserted.

1 month ago