Iran nuclear development and threats to world peace

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant/ Image: The Bulletin

The perennial hostility between Iran and the United States has its roots back to when Iran wanted to develop a Nuclear weapon. The ambitious stance of Iran in developing a Nuclear weapon has proved to be a catalyst in swelling the tensions. By scrutinizing the reciprocities between the United States and Iran from the time immediately preceding Iran’s reception of its first nuclear reactor, we can see how the once harmonious and cooperative relationship between the two countries met the disaster and has continued on a downward spiral ever since.

To begin we turn to the end of WW2, when Iran was suffering from somewhat of an identical crisis, was on the verge of disintegration and being reduced to the status of the Soviet satellite if not worse. Iran had the honour of becoming the amphitheatre for the first crisis of the Cold war, and it fell to the united states to fathom out the problem. The United States cognizant of Soviets inclination to gamble their claim in Iran continued to furnish shah with whatever it took to keep both shah and Iran in their clutches, including rendering a coup in 1953 to overthrow the democratically elected prime minister of Iran Muhammad Mossadeq. These events and the methods used by the united states to frequently placate the shah over the next twenty-five years ultimately helped weaken US- Iranian relations and paved the way for today’s dilemma of a nuclear Iran.

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani inspecting Iranian Nuclear Facility/ Image: AP

Iran’s ambition for developing nuclear weapons started in the 1950s when united states provided the newly installed, US-backed shah, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, with nuclear technology. The equipment included, a five-megawatt (MW) light- water research reactor and laboratory equipment. The assistance to the shah and nuclear equipment were provided during the time when the spread of communism and oil were the main concerns in the Middle East.

The current crisis is probably worst than the Iran Hostage Crisis that took place from 1979 to 1981. Despite the repeated orders of united Nations to abandon the development of the nuclear program, Iran is attempting to continue its development of a nuclear program. According to Scott Sagan, “Iran is the classical case of a state that wants nuclear weapons to dissuade attacks from its enemies, whether it’s United States, Israel or any other country.” Iran also wants nuclear weapons as a status symbol and with that symbol, it could view itself as a prominent figure in the Middle East. The tensions that aggravated between America and Iran regarding nuclear weapon have ruined the stability and tranquillity of the region. America being Economically and the Militarily strong country has imposed sanctions on Iran on various occasions. The United States has also a stronghold on the Economy and politics of Middle East as it invaded Iraq in 2002 and has overthrown almost fourteen Governments in Iran that displeased it for various ideological, political and economic reasons.

The concerns about Iran’s nuclear weapon will lead to significant complications for US interests in the Middle East. Iran is being prevented by the US in developing a nuclear weapon because Iran with a Nuclear Bomb will lead to the instability of the region. The weapon will also prove as a threat to the neighbouring countries. If Iran does develop a nuclear weapon the repercussions in the Middle East could be disastrous. Former Iranian president Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust of WW2 and stated that “Israel should be wiped off the map”. Because of these type of radical statements, not only Israel but the whole of the Middle East likely lives in greater fear.

Iran has also been alleged with having a relationship with terrorist organizations. The US state department has branded Iran as “one of the most active sponsors of terrorism” such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran has also been accused of carrying out operations in Iraq to disrupt coalition actions taking place to root out insurgents and bring stability to the country.

In a nutshell, to contain Iran’s nuclear development the US needs the support of its allies especially those in the Middle East and it would be somewhat difficult in garner that supports. In the end, solely relying on containing Iran would not help prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, but it may help prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons to Non- state actors.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Hidayat Ullah

Hidayat Ullah is a BS History undergraduate student at Quaid e Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan

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