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IRAN. Unwelcome member to the Nuclear Club. References. The Iran Threat by Alireza Jafarzadeh The Devil We Know by Robert Baer Democracy in Iran by Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr

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Unwelcome member to the Nuclear Club

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  • The Iran Threat by Alireza Jafarzadeh

  • The Devil We Know by Robert Baer

  • Democracy in Iran by Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr

  • “A Roundtable on Nuclear Issues in Relation to Iran” (working paper) by Project Ploughshares, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, and the Iranian embassy

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  • Political evolution

  • Bid for nuclear energy: consistent with the NPT?

  • New regional power in a post-Cold War world

  • What can be done to avert an escalating conflict with Iran and further regional destabilization?

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Reza Shah Pahlavi 1925-1941

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Foreign intrigue and territorial threats

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Victim of superpowers

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The last Shah of Iran

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Return to the Monarchy

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Nuclear energy in Iran

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Iranian Revolution 1979

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Hostage Crisis

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Iran-Iraq War

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Reform and changing society

  • Pres. Rafsanjani and the “second” republic 1989: economy vs. ideology

  • US imposes oil and trade sanctions against Iran 1995

  • Khatami presidency 1997-2005

  • IAEA inspections 2003, Security Council

  • Ahmadinejad elected president 2005

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Who calls the shots?

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Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

  • Commits non-nuclear weapon states to abstain from obtaining nuclear weapons

  • Requires that the IAEA oversees the nation member’s nuclear activity

  • Guarantees the “inalienable” right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, provided the member adheres to the full treaty

  • Says that nuclear weapon states must eventually achieve nuclear disarmament

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Nuclear fuel supplier club

  • “We are not questioning [Iran’s] right to civil nuclear power…But because...they were not clear with the IAEA, that civil nuclear power cannot include the ability to enrich and reprocess on Iranian territory, because when you learn that you’ve learned the key technology to making a nuclear weapon.” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, April 19, 2006

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A Question of Trust

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There is “…a basic hypocrisy on the part of nuclear powers: they retain their own arsenals while denying others the same right”. (John Deutch, US gov defense and security posts)

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Mutual Assured Destruction(MAD)

  • Deterrence to pre-emptive conventional or nuclear attack

  • What is the deterrence to develop a nuclear weapon? None!

  • What are the advantages of having one?

  • Remember the International Court of Justice: nuclear weapons and the threat to use them are illegal

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(Mad) Mullahs and Bombs

  • “…inherent in Tehran’s version of Islamic rule is a lack of ethical standard that would forestall the actual use of nuclear weapons. Tehran’s leaders have no moral ambiguities about using nuclear weapons to annihilate ‘global arrogance’ and clear a path for radical Islamic rule…if the Iranian regime is not prevented from building a nuclear weapon, its clout will turn into wanton nuclear aggression.”(Jafarzadeh)

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NPT: can it survive the challenges?

  • Non-NPT states with nuclear weapons (India, Pakistan and Israel)

  • Nuclear safeguards and new rules (1993)

  • 3 noncompliance crises (N Korea, Libya and Iran

  • Will the NWS disarm (Article VI)?

  • Impoverishment of IAEA (UN)

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  • Iran: looking at its political evolution to better understand its future with us

  • How does Iran’s bid for nuclear energy highlight contradictions in the NPT and the post-Cold War balance of power?

  • What can be done to avert an escalating conflict with Iran and further regional destabilization?

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  • Israel and Palestine

  • Foreign intervention, past and present

  • Variety of rule: democracies(Israel), monarchies (SA), national security states (Egypt, Syria), theocracies (Iran),destabilized regimes (Iraq,Lebanon)

  • Water and fossil fuels: strategic interests for Middle East and world

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Iranian gov viewpoints

  • Insist on right to uranium processing

  • Cannot depend on external suppliers

  • Supports NPT, Biological and Chemical Weapons Convention, and a Middle East nuclear weapons-free zone

  • Wants integrations into the international community and better relations with West

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Solutions: international

  • Evolve from the Cold War mentality

  • UN reform (no permanent seats on Security Council)

  • re-think NATO

  • NPT obligatory for all NWS

  • NPT surveillance and inspections for all in a fully transparent and accountable way

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Solutions: Middle East

  • Recognize Iran’s place in the peace negotiations: need its cooperation

  • Iran and USA: accept each other’s presence in Persian Gulf and region

  • Nuclear weapons-free zone in Middle East

  • Real security: food, water, fuel and their distribution within the region

  • Diplomacy, UN initiatives

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Where is Iran going?Same place we are.

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Image of Iran

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No easy ride for the fundamentalists

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  • Political and social evolution in an unstable region

  • Diplomacy and dialogue versus pre-emptive military strikes (ours) with counterstrikes in its areas of influence

  • Must be taken into account in any regional security system and resource management; a step before true peace?

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Internet Refernces







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