Is Patient Diplomacy the Best Approach to Iran’s Nuclear Program?
The idea of Iran developing a nuclear weapon has undoubtedly sparked up an international debate on both sides of the isle. While many in the west debate about which actions to take to prevent the development of the bomb or if Iran is even developing the bomb other countries like Russian and China have been reluctant to criticize. From a western perspective we have to decide whether or not a patient diplomacy is the best approach to Iran’s nuclear problem or not. The consequences of attacking Iran could prove to be just as disastrous as not attacking Iran and being threatened by ban attack. In “Taking Side” two scholars on this issue debate this very question. Christopher Hemmer, from “Responding to a Nuclear Iran” and Norman Podhoretz, editor-at-large for the opinion journal “Commentary” argue on both sides of the issue. This is a general overview of the situation, a summary of each authors main points and a conclusion based on my own opinion. The Non Proliferation act of 1968 was created to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. 85 percent of the world’s countries signed it. Non nuclear countries agreed to not make or accept nukes from anyone. Countries that had them could not build or share them. The International Atomic Energy Agency was created by the UN to inspect countries to ensure nuclear facilities were operating under peaceful terms but the NPT hasn't been entirely successful. India and Pakistan tested nukes in 1998 and Israel's nuclear capability is an open secret. None of those countries signed the NPT in 1968. North Korea did sign the treaty in 1970 but violated it in the 1990s when it started developing nukes and more recently in 2006 when they tested one. Iran also signed the NPT in 1970 but was ruled by a pro western monarch named Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was overthrown in 1979 and fled the country. Soon after the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomiena who rejected western values and influence came into power and immediately began to purge the state of all western influences. Iraq and Iran went to war for around 8 years in the 1980s. In that war Iraq used chemical weapons which triggered Iran’s nuclear ambitions. They believed Iraq had nuclear ambitions and feared western domination from the US. These fears coupled with their long term goals of becoming a global powerhouse and hegemonic force in the region fueled them to start thinking about attaining nuclear weapons. Bush labeled Iran as one of the "axis of evil" who promoting terrorism. The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. The US asked for cooperation from the global community to help prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon. The EU-3: France, Germany and the UK tried to work with Iran in order to dial down their ambitions. Iran insisted that their nuclear program was a peaceful one and they had a sovereign right to develop nuclear power. The IAEA overwhelming voted to refer the matter to the UN Security Council. The EU-3 has become increasingly critical of Iran and their nuclear ambitions and tension is increasing. Christopher Hemmet believes a militaristic strategy to disarm Iran would damage the US's position in the region and that the consequences would outweigh the benefits while Norman Podhoretz believes that allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons would set the stage for the outbreak of nuclear war. Yes, “Responding to a nuclear Iran”
Hemmet believes that Iranian nuclear attainment would certainly pose several different problems for the US but military action and doing nothing at all are not the only options on the table. They can be met through sanctions, containment, engagement, an active policy of deterrence, and the reassurance of American allies in the region. America has 3 strategic interests in the Persian Gulf: maintaining the flow of oil into the world markets, preventing any hostile state from dominating the region and minimizing any terrorist threat. A...
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