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Is Kenneth Waltz Correct, Should Iran get the BOMB ?. John A. Hughes. Neorealist LENS. Branch of Realism Focus on power politics proposed by classical theorists ( Hobbes, Machiavelli, Thucydides ) Rise of Realist thinkers, E. H Carr & Hans. J Morgenthau

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Is Kenneth Waltz Correct, Should Iran get the BOMB ?

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neorealist lens
Neorealist LENS
  • Branch of Realism
    • Focus on power politics proposed by classical theorists ( Hobbes, Machiavelli, Thucydides )
    • Rise of Realist thinkers, E. H Carr & Hans. J Morgenthau
      • E.H Carr’s The Twenty Year’s Crisis (1939): struggle for power, “haves & have-nots”
      • Hans J. Morgenthau’s Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (1948): Human nature, statecraft, national security.
  • Theory of International Politics(1979), Kenneth N. Waltz
    • Does not focus on human nature, statecraft or ethics in foreign policy that Morgenthau proposed
    • Focuses on structures
      • Domestic structures
      • “Relative Capabilities” (a states power)
neorealist balance of power theory
Neorealist Balance of Power THEORY
  • Peace and be achieved through Balance of Power
    • If states build equal military and economic abilities
    • Alliances
    • Occurred during the Cold War ( bipolar system)
    • Post Soviet Union ( multipolar system)
    • Advocates for nuclear proliferation
assessments critiques
Assessments & critiques
  • Waltz is Selective in his History
    • Bipolar systems do not guarantee peace
      • World War I (arms races and alliances)
      • Waltz argues World War I was caused by “chain-ganging” and codependent alliances
      • Not a satisfactory response
    • Cold War was not a peaceful time
      • Proxy wars
      • Waltz ignores this
iran s nuclear program current controversy
Iran’s Nuclear Program: Current Controversy
  • Does Iran have a nuclear weapon ?
    • Iran: No, its for peaceful purposes to make energy and be used for medical research.
    • United States & West, Yes: Fearful they are working towards making a nuclear weapon. Cites intelligence reports and lack of IAEA cooperation and to suspend uranium enrichment. Also peaceful programs can be dual-purpose
  • Why does Iran not Cooperate with the IAEA ?
    • Fell they do, just the IAEA ask for too much that is does not ask from other states, especially Israel
    • Other powers such as the US have known nuclear weapons and are not regulated or investigated by the IAEA
  • What’s Wrong with Iran Getting a Nuclear Weapon?
    • Gives them influence
    • Could be used against Israel
    • Could be used against the West.
early nuclear program 1957 1974
Early Nuclear Program (1957-1974)
  • President Eisenhower “Atoms for Peace Program
  • 1968 (signed 1970) Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) & 1974 signed Safeguards Agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency
  • 1970s, France & Germany also provided Iran assistance
  • 1974 India had a successful nuclear test, US national intelligence agency feared Iran developing a weapon
  • France pulled back on a deal two build two reactors in Darkhovin, and Germany withdrew from building a pair or reactors in Bushehr
  • 1979 Iranian Revolution West reversed support
  • 1979Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini canceled program, deemed it “anti-Islamic”
return to nuclear
Return to Nuclear
  • 1982 began to rebuild nuclear program
  • 1985 CIA reported that Iran was interested in building a nuclear weapon, predicted it would take at least a decade
  • 1989 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei comes to power.
  • 1995, CIA report predicted by 2000 Iran could produce a weapon with foreign assistance
  • Worked with Russia, N. Korea, China and Pakistan to help restart Bushehr and Darkhovin projects
start of controversy
Start of Controversy
  • August 2002 Alireza Jafarzadeh of the National Council of Resistance of Iran declared two nuclear sites under construction
    • Natanz (underground)
    • Arak (heavy water)
    • U.S intelligence agencies were aware of these facilities but reports remain classified
    • Israeli intelligence was also aware
    • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not aware of this
    • Launched investigation fall 2002.
    • Did Iran violate the NPT?
      • No, when Iran signed countries were not required to notify IAEA until introducing nuclear material into facilities
      • IAEA changed agreement in 1992, requiring notification during the planning stage.
      • Iran did not sign the 1992 agreement until February 2003.
international concern
International concern
  • Fall 2003 EU-3 (France, Germany, United Kingdom)
    • Wanted to take diplomatic route to answer questions about Iran’s nuclear program: Produced Tehran Declaration and Paris Agreement
  • IAEA Reports 2003-2005
    • Reported Iran failed to fully report all nuclear acquisitions and activities
    • Found no evidence of nuclear program, but was unable to conclude if it was peaceful
  • Election of President Ahmadinejad 2005-2006
  • 2006 P5+1 China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom & United States
  • July & December 2006 UN Security Council demanded Iran suspend its uranium enrichment, later that year imposed sanctions
    • Cut off nuclear cooperation
    • Froze assets of those tied to Iran’s nuclear program
    • Resolutions from 2007-2009 expanded/ reaffirmed these sanctions.
    • Imposed harsher sanctions in 2010
iaea reports
IAEA Reports
  • 2007-2008
    • Iran was cooperative
    • Could not prove or disprove nuclear weapon
    • US National Intelligence could not find evidence of a nuclear program
  • 2009
    • Iran became less cooperative with IAEA requests
    • Increasingly started to enrich uranium
  • 2010
    • Iran enriching enough uranium to make two nuclear weapons
iaea reports1
  • November 2011 IAEA Report
    • Inspectors have credible evidence that Iran had been conducting experiments aimed at creating a nuclear bomb up until 2003
    • Identified “large explosive containment vessel”
    • IAEA passes resolution expressing “deep and increasing concern” over the military possibility of Iran’s nuclear program
    • Iran denies this
  • 2012
    • February, announced Iran’s refusal to allow access to the Parchin plant, which was rumored to have high-explosive research program
    • May, announced Iran was continuing to enrich uranium at a higher rate
    • August, highlighted Iran’s continued increased enrichment
why iran should get the bomb a neorealist point of view
Why IRAN SHOULD GET THE BOMB: a Neorealist Point of view
  • Kenneth Waltz, “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb:, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2010
  • Power Begs to be Balanced
    • Israel is the monopoly in nuclear power in the region
    • Israel bombed Iraq in 1981, and Syria in 2007 to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon, could do the same to Iran
    • Since Israel acquired a nuclear weapon, the region has been in conflict
  • Unfounded Fears
    • Iran is rational
    • Countries are less hostile once they get nuclear capabilities (China, India and Pakistan)
balance of power does not apply
Balance of Power does not apply
  • The region would become less stable
    • Questionable if Iran would not attack Israel
        • Not all nuclear programs promise peace (N. Korea)
    • Would Iran give a weapon to a terrorist group?
      • Iran funds terrorist groups to spite the west and expand power
      • Could be used as a threat
    • Fails to evaluate Iranian-Syrian relations.
      • Syria would want the technology
      • Would Iran provide them the weapon ?
balance of power does not apply1
Balance of Power does not apply
  • Waltz finds Iran to be rational
    • This is correct, even Israeli intelligence agree to this
    • Rational also curtail to ensure survival
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  • Conybear, John A.C, and Todd Sandler. "The Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance: A Collective Goods Approach ." American Political Science Review 84, no. 4 (1990): 1197-1206.
  • Davenport, Kelsey. "History of Official Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue." Arms Control Association . August 2012. (accessed October 30, 2012).
  • Department of National Intelligence . "Special National Intelligence Estimate: Prospects of Further Profliferation of Nuclear Weapons ." George Washington University . April 1974 , 1974. (accessed October 21, 20012).
  • Ferguson, Niall. The Pity of War Basic Books,. New York , NY : Basic Books , 2000.
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  • Morgenthau, Hans J. Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace. Vol. 5. New York, NY : Alferd E. Knopf , 1978 [1948].
  • United Nations Security Council . "SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS IRAN SUSPEND URANIUM ENRICHMENT BY 31 AUGUST, OR FACE POSSIBLE ECONOMIC, DIPLOMATIC SANCTIONS ." United Nations . July 31, 2006. (accessed October 31 , 2012).
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