13 May 2024

A senior advisor to Iran’s supreme leader warned that “if the Israeli regime threatens Iran with nuclear weapons, we are forced to reconsider our nuclear doctrine… We are advocates of diplomacy to make the Middle East a nuclear-free region. But, in case the Israeli regime threatens us with nuclear weapons, we surely cannot sit idle and wait for permission from others”. Addressing the U.S., he asserted: “You were the ones who left the nuclear deal, and today, you show no more interest in negotiating to revive it. If you return to the deal, we can discuss about making the region a nuclear-free zone”. In response, a U.S. diplomatic spokesperson maintained that “[the U.S.] will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, period. We continue to assess, though, that Iran is not currently undertaking the key activities that would be necessary to produce a testable nuclear device, and we don’t believe that the supreme leader has yet made a decision to resume the weaponisation program that we judge Iran suspended or stopped at the end of 2003”.

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