Airstrikes In Iran Raise Concerns of Change in Nuclear Tactics

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Following Iran’s attack on Israel, experts are worried of possible escalation and Iranian intentions for its nuclear enrichment facilities, as Iranian officials warned the nation may consider changing its nuclear policy if Israel attacks the country.

This warning was released a day before the reported Israeli airstrikes on the Islamic Republic following its drone and missile attack on April 13, which was reportedly in response to an Israeli strike on its embassy in Damascus in March 2024.

It is unclear if Iran will follow through with its warnings. According to Reuters, IRGC commander in charge of nuclear security Ahmad Haghtalab was quoted as saying that Israel’s threats against Iran’s nuclear facilities “make it possible to review our nuclear doctrine and deviate from our previous considerations.”

According to Interesting Engineering, Iran has always claimed that its nuclear enrichment program was for peaceful purposes only, a statement only strengthened by various claims made by the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. These statements, however, did not quiet the world’s concerns that Iran is planning to develop its nuclear arsenal.

Reasons for such worries are exemplified by the statements of IAEA head Rafael Grossi who stated that Iran was enriching uranium up to 60% purity, which is far beyond what’s needed for commercial nuclear use, raising the question as to what the country is really intending to do to with its uranium enrichment program.

Furthermore, Iran has also threatened that if Israel targets its nuclear sites, it will retaliate, as Haghtalab stated: “If [Israel] wants to take action against our nuclear centers and facilities, we will surely and categorically reciprocate with advanced missiles against their nuclear sites.”

Iranian news sources claim that their air defense systems shot down at least three drones in the area of Isfahan, a central Iranian city containing several military facilities, including nuclear research laboratories, a major airbase, and military equipment factories possibly responsible for developing Iranian-developed drones.