MEMRI: New Iranian Fatwa: Religious Law Does Not Forbid Use of Nuclear Weapons

On February 16, 2006, the reformist Internet daily Rooz (
reported for the first time that extremist clerics from Qom had issued what
the daily called “a new fatwa,” which states that “shari’a does not forbid
the use of nuclear weapons.”

The following are excerpts from the Rooz report by Shahram Rafizadeh:(1)
“When the Entire World is Armed With Nuclear Weapons, it is Permissible to
Use These Weapons as a Counter-[Measure]”

“The spiritual leaders of the ultra-conservatives [in Iran] have accepted
the use of nuclear weapons as lawful in the eyes of shari’a. Mohsen
Gharavian, a disciple of [Ayatollah] Mesbah Yazdi [who is Iranian President
Ahmadinejad’s spiritual mentor], has spoken for the first time of using
nuclear weapons as a counter-measure. He stated that ‘in terms of shari’a,
it all depends on the goal.’

“The religious leadership of the Islamic Republic [of Iran], which has until
now regarded the use of nuclear weapons as opposed to shari’a, and has
repeated this point again and again, has so far kept silent about this. In
spite of the fact that, in the last few weeks, some of the senior [leaders]
of the Islamic Republic have tried to reduce the pressure [exerted by] the
radical [conservatives], the radicals nevertheless seem to have complete
control over the [political] arena.

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