Paper Topic #4
As the main hegemon present in today’s world, we the United States live in a unipolar system of power. Since the end of the Cold War (which ended the bipolar system with the USSR), the United States has been the most important state in overlooking international issues. One of the major issues present in international politics is Iran’s uranium enrichment program in which its focus is to develop nuclear weapons. We formally ended civil relations with Iran in 2002 when we declared Iran as an axis of evil, along with Iraq and North Korea.1 Although relations have been severed, there exist many approaches in which we the United States can attempt to resolve or at the least improve the situation. Based on extensive research and the development of the problem over the course of the last few years, I believe it is in our best interest to pursue a course of containment and deterrence, as opposed to a military strike that would destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Iran has slowly begun to reconsider the implications of its nuclear program, giving the United States, in coordination with the P5+1 (five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany) an opportunity to step in.2 As we see this weakness emerging in Iran, we can take the necessary measures by negotiating in order to deter and contain the nuclear program in Iran. I would argue that starting a war with Iran over the nuclear issue would confirm the US image, globally, as the outlaw hegemon.3 We have to maintain our allies and our reputation because from a liberal point of view, collective action problems arise and we need to be able to cooperate with our allies. If we attack Iran, Iran could seek interest in attacking Saudi Arabia in an effort to sanction the United States.4 Saudi Arabia is responsible for approximately 20% of crude oil reserves in the world.5 This would increase domestic oil prices significantly and slow down the recovery of our economy given the interconnected capitalist system we have in place. Thus, from an economic standpoint it is clearly not in our interest to attack Iran. I would also advise you to not undertake a military strike because it is too soon after Iraq and Americans have not forgotten your policy. Over the course of the past three years, we have been bringing troops back after a long decade of expenses, deaths, and constant struggle. For the United States to jump back into Iran in an effort to promote democracy and prevent nuclear weapon development would be hypocritical and ineffective. We need the public support domestically before we can jump into another costly war that the nation is not yet ready for. We must also make sure that we keep our interests aligned with those of our allies and we must not create conflict with Russia for instance, by attacking Iran. Although Russia has recently shown support for Israel, they continue to vote with the Palestinians at the UN.6 Despite Russian support, Israel worries that the regime in Syria is trying to get Russian weapons into the hands of Hizbullah for use against Israel.7 The meeting between Netanyahu and President Obama showed the development of relations that seemed to have been hindered at the beginning of Obama’s first term. We have promised Netanyahu that we are a step closer to taking military, but we need to be careful because as part of the P5+1, we need to maintain relations with the Russians who are more in favor of the Palestinians.8 We cannot afford to break off our relationship with Israel by attacking Iran. Although Netanyahu is in favor of military action, if attacked Iran will not willing to negotiate with Israel, which has been an issue for years. Therefore, it is best for us to not attack and maintain peace with our current allies.
The United States’ main goal is to stop Iran from continuing to produce highly enriched uranium, although we do know that Iran will never stop enriching...
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