While nuclear power can be used to meet country’s energy needs, it can also be utilized for milacious purposes. Despite serious concerns and stern opposition from the international community, Iran continues to march ahead with its nuclear program. No one can deny the destructive power of nuclear weapons and in the wrong hands, they become even more dangerous. The international community should do everything in its capacity to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power because any failure in this regard will have serious negative implications for global peace and security.
Due to Iran’s focus on continued uranium enrichment, there exists a real possibility of military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. While Tehran claims that its nuclear program is for useful purposes, the European Union has clealry demonstrated it stands united with other countries in its opposition to Iran’s nuclear program and supports economic sanctions against the country. Israel even began to consider air strikes to hit Iranian nuclear facilities while the United States has also not ruled out military option though it hopes to avoid military conflict. The possibility of military intervention also arose due to threats by Iranian regime such as closing Strait of Hormuz, which is considered the biggest shipping route for global oil and their intention to wipe Israel off the world map.
Tehran had enjoyed years of cooperative relationship with the U.S. and its allies before dramatically changing the diplomatic course. 2005 could be considered the starting point of Iran’s current foreign policy as “the new president elected at end of June marked a shift towards both increased internal authoritarianism and external provocation” (Jacques, 2012). Iran contended that it’s economic challenges had become grave and it had to take radical actions to boost its economy but these concerns were irrational because energy scarcity had never been an issue for Iran. Nevertheless, all of this led to a dramatic revision of Iran’s foreign policy.
Iran started its nuclear program under the argument that it needed nuclear power to meet its energy needs. Initially, everyone thought Iran simply wanted to reduce its reliance on oil and develop another source of energy and countries such as US, Japan, and Russia etc. applauded Iran. Iran even signed a 10-year contract with Russia in 2005. It took some years before international inspectors realized that Iran’s nuclear program was not meant for energy needs but for military purpose (Ros, 2007). The international inspectors reported their concern to the UN and this revelation dramatically changed the power balance in the region. This revelation even prompted Israel to start considering military option to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities in 2007(Jacques, 2012). Global concerns also arose due to the uncertainty caused by Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. The UN also received calls from many countries in the Middle East who suddenly started feeling vulnerable that UN take immediate measures to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear power.
It is apparent that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons as soon as possible. Iran lies in politically unstable region and a country’s military has a responsibility to take any measure to strengthen national defense. It is also possible that the situation in other countries like Afghanistan and central Asia might also have encouraged Iran to try to acquire nuclear weapons. But it is difficult to understand why nuclear weapons may be necessary for a country’s defense (Ray, 2003). America and Israel are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and have been working together to achieve this goal. America and Israel want to protect the power balance that existed before Iran started working towards nuclear program.
In order to understand the change of political course by Iranian regime , one should study the events that have taken place in Iran as well as consider Iran’s geographical location. The success of Iranian Revolution also deteriorated Iran’s relationship with its neighbors and both Iran and its neighbors spared no effort in intervening in each other’s interior affairs. Iranian President “Ahmadinejad’s approach has been to return to a theme common to the early revolution by appealing to the Arab street over its rulers.”(Richard, 2008). This desire to control the region, makes Iran support Shiite minorities in other countries in the region. These minority Shiite factions in each country initially live in harmony within the communities until they receive instructions to create problems for their respective governments. Iran also benefits from not facing united Arab opposition in the region. Thus, it strives towards changing the power balance in its favor.
U.S. led the world in finding a diplomatic solution to the issue. President Obama’s administration offered several options to Iran such as to abort development of nuclear weapons except those meant for peaceful purpose. U.S. also wants Iran to stop supporting terrorists all over the world. If Iran accepts these conditions, it will have its membership in the World Trade Organization restored and it will also be rewarded with economic investments as well as resotration of diplomatic ties with the international community.
Iran is getting closer to developing nuclear weapons each passing day. Iran’s 2005 contract with Russia guarantees it nuclear capability and this will be a grave hazard to global security. Israel wants to use political avenues otherwise military option will be the only course left. Even other countries in the Middle East also feel threatened. This problem is not much different from what we are facing in North Korea now. The world becomes less safer with each nuclear power country and UN has an obligation to create a safe world for future generations.
- Ros, Schwartz. Iran and the Bomb. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007. Print.
- Jacques, Hymans E. Iran and the Bomb. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Print.
- Ray, Takeyh. Iran’s Nuclear Calculations. World Policy Journal. 2003.Web. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40209856
- Richard, Dalton. Iran: Breaking the Nuclear Deadlock. Chatham House Report. 2008.Web. http://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/108945