Speculations have surfaced suggesting that Iran may be involved in secret research aimed at creating bioweapons using the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although there is currently no solid evidence to support these claims, there are certain factors that could lend credibility to these speculations. Iran possesses advanced biosafety level (BSL) 3/4 laboratories, some of which have not been disclosed to international bodies. Furthermore, the country is home to skilled virologists and geneticists who have been exploring genetic manipulation and gene editing technologies. Disturbingly, there have been discussions among Iranian researchers regarding the development of new SARS-CoV-2 variants that could specifically target certain ethnic or racial groups.
It is important to note that the process of serial passaging, used to enhance the pathogenicity of viruses, is not as complex as it may seem and can be carried out using readily available materials. With the emergence of various SARS-CoV-2 variants and the insufficient control measures in place, there is a legitimate concern that terrorist organizations or certain nations could develop new variants for use as biological weapons without detection.
While specific medical research entities in Iran have been implicated in these allegations, it is crucial to recognize that researchers in multiple institutions across the country have been studying viruses and exploring methods to enhance their characteristics. It is also worth considering that Iran’s allies, such as China and Russia, may share critical research data that could contribute to the development of such biological weapons.
In light of these concerns, countries like the United States, Israel, and international organizations should remain vigilant and closely monitor Iran’s potential involvement in the development of new biological weapons using the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Strict surveillance measures must be implemented to ensure the safety and security of global health.