An Act of Self-Preservation: Why Iran Wants the Bomb (Page 2 of 2)

It is these wider fears that are at the heart of today’s impasse. The nuclear crisis is not the cause but the effect of a wider clash between Iran and the west and it is this underlying relationship that must be addressed for any resolution to be found. At each stage of the last ten years of negotiations an imperfect understanding of what Iran really wants has precluded a diplomatic solution. All the supposed major breakthroughs of the crisis, notably the 2003 Tehran Agreement, in which Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment while wider issues such as the program as a whole, security, and the situation in the Middle East were addressed, and 2004’s Paris Agreement, which reaffirmed its suspension, have failed to tackle this point. On both occasions, European diplomats never adequately understood that for the Iranians the issue transcended the nuclear. Satisfied with the suspension, the Europeans made no effort to address Iran’s broader concerns. Iran eventually resumed uranium enrichment. It has refused to suspend it ever since.

More than thirty years after the coming of the Islamic Republic and exactly ten years into the nuclear crisis the question of how to integrate a country with 70 million people, and among the largest reserves of oil and gas in the world still remains. The Islamic Republic bases its legitimacy on the need to protect Iran from a hostile world that has ill-used it for two centuries. Because of its oil, because of its geostrategic location between two of the world’s great energy sources, the Caspian Basin and the Persian Gulf, Tehran believes the country will always be a target for more powerful nations; but the shameful capitulations of history will be consigned to history if Iran possesses the necessary means to defend itself. This impulse – prominent within Iranian decision-making circles – is the great danger the world faces; and it is this that must be addressed.

As long the P5+1 continues to continue to dance with Iran without tackling the central issues, a lasting solution is impossible. Thus far, talks have largely focused on the narrow issue of uranium enrichment. Only by broadening out the scope of engagement can the P5+1 offer Iran anything that will make it compromise. Engaging Iran on regional affairs, involving it in multilateral discussions and forums and attempting to alleviate its fears – and, indeed, its neuroses – is the only way the nuclear crisis can be resolved peacefully. Iran now possesses enough low-enriched uranium to make several bombs and while Iran could not enrich to the necessary levels for a nuclear weapon without throwing out the IAEA inspectors, the prospect of a bomb is not a distant one.

Unless a diplomatic breakthrough is made the world may have to deal with the unpleasant reality of a nuclear-armed Iran.

David Patrikarakos is a U.K.-based writer and author of the upcoming book “Nuclear Iran: The Birth of an Atomic State.” His work has appeared in the New Statesman and Financial Times, among other publications.

Comments
19
hossein
September 25, 2012 at 20:16

i am from iran…we dont need nuclear for starting war…we need it because most of the countries have it
why shouldnt we have???mahdi for coming doesnt need any war..bomb..or nuclear…and so on
when mahdi comes he wont kill ppl…because he wanna come for peace…not for war…
moslims r not terrorist…the other countries started war and kill ppl in afcanestan and iraq…not iran…we dont know why US and israel and other countries dont want iran has nuclear…iran doesnt use it for killing ppl…other countries does it…if u dont want a dictator person control u just study…study…study

Addis
September 18, 2012 at 17:39

I think the Iranian leaders are not lessoning others, somehow emotional which could lead them & their country risky. They better think over their nuclear program

Dave
August 29, 2012 at 16:29

Sara,you are an Iranian? Ya true!  I believe. You are NOT a person who liked this article and you are NOT trying to give an impression to the readers that the local iranians are fed up with their govt and they want someone(US) to help them FREE from the evil hand of their govt.haha. Your comment style is so natural… typing english with an ARAB touch and ending with " sorry for my bad english" which the ORGINAL people from middle east do honestly. great Job! Keep it up!

Peter Sellers
August 22, 2012 at 17:26

Wake up, Chand, Ahmadinejad had continually announced to the whole world the destruction of Israel, and coming from a head of state, this is a reckless, mindless pronouncement.  Of course,  Israel is not stupid enough to ignore such statement, this is a serious matter to set aside. Hitler had his holocaust – the elimination of the Jewish people, Ahmadinejad – the complete destruction of the State of Israel with the atomic bomb (maybe to make it easier and swift)

Peter Sellers
August 22, 2012 at 17:17

he ain't foolish Davey, its the people that shapes history, shapes the regime, unfortunately this is wanting in Iran, the mullahs does not represent the Iranians, the political opposition, demonstrators are brutally suppressed with hammers, chisels, iron bar, etc. where can you find a country that announced to the whole world the  destruction of Israel, Iran of course. Now who is foolish Davey?

Dan Pendleton
August 21, 2012 at 06:57

Well, the Iranian people may not be stupid but Ahmadinejad has promised to wipe Israel off the map. I can assure you the Israelis are taking that threat seriously. Tel Aviv would be on the Iranian target list as soon as they have their weapons ready. Is Ahmadinejad crazy? Or, is he just playing at being crazy? The question is irrelevant. The Mossad is hoping for the best but planning for the worst. Never again!!

chand
August 18, 2012 at 01:24

I neither liked the Shah of Iran supported by the West or the present Islamic radicals. Both are evil! In fact the Shah of Iran would in my view be the bigger devil. During his reign, Iranians could not even demonstrate as they can know. The West support SAVAK would get them!
But having said that- I have great respect and admiration of the Persian people-they are a wonderful intellectual race with a rich history. But let me say at the outset that there is nothing wrong for Iran to have nuclear power stations. Neither is it wrong for other countries to have the same-it is good for the people and progress of the country.
Since Pakistan, Israel, India, China and the west have the bomb-all who argued about MAD-massive Assured Destruction-I think it is only fair that Iran be armed with the bomb. It will balance up the powers and I am sure there will be peaceful settlement of all disputes.
Today, the so called “chosen people” living in the so-called “God’s chosen land” need peace. Right now I doubt very much that we can call that place-“God’s chosen land”. That land is cursed in my view -no security.
I really believe that there must be a balance in power. Frankly, if anyone suggests that the Iranian regime will use the bomb must be nuts! The Iranians are not that stupid.

Davy de Verteuil
August 17, 2012 at 21:30

foolish Sara! this ain't about a regime its about a people's history future and White mischief. Your hatred leads to destroying your country,Thank God! even those who'd like to see the end of the Mulahs wouldn't want their own pay a price you are so willing to have them pay. If Libya Syria Kosovo Iraq Somalia & Afghan doesn't impress you them you is the one in need of change-otherwise tie a rope in the heavens and go hang yourself along with the Mullahs

Dr. Craig Holoboski
August 17, 2012 at 10:05

Wait until after the UN and NATO invasion of Syria and see what pops out of the weapons caches… 

sara
August 17, 2012 at 10:03

i'm iranian but as an iranian i have to say that this regime never represent us  with 5000 years of history.they hate our history before islam & emphasize on this issue in different occasions.i'm 23 & i can't tolerate this regime anymore but in the other hand i'm afraid of confronting with war .please help me for wiping out mollahs from this world.akhunds are terrorist ,liar,devious & conning.sorry about my bad english.

Lito Dakat
August 17, 2012 at 01:12

The world will stop talking to them and treating them like they are animals if they stop behaving like a 5000-year old animal. That means stop threathening others with annihilation. Simple logic will tell you that if you threathen someone with harm, they will act accordingly to meet the threat.

jbx
August 15, 2012 at 23:53

And the religious fanatics are equally driving the zionist agenda: Occupied land promised by no less than God himself…and awaiting the Messiah. Crazy looney bins!!!! Setting the world afire with their lawlessness, and threats of Armaggedeon.

Bankotsu
August 15, 2012 at 23:20

You might as well come tell me that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

Buck O'Fama
August 15, 2012 at 22:52

If sanctions worked, Cuba would have held real elections decades ago.  The Kim's would be out of power about the same time.  The fact is that sanctions only affect the lower class.  In nations were the lower classes have no voice, sanctions are useless.
Iran must be bombed.  Israel isn't strong enough to do the job.  Their entire air force doesn't pack the punch of a cell (3 aircraft) of B-2 bombers.  The IAF would take as much as 5% losses in a raid on Iran.  The USAF would probably not lose anyone.  At the most less then a handful.   So until America elects a POTUS with moral courage, things will go on as they are.  That means Iran will produce atomic bombs. 
Since the most likely targets are New York and DC, that will be OK.  Catch Congress in session and nuking New York and DC starts to look like a boon for America.  Out here in fly over America, America's biggest problems are the Media and Congress.  Both of those problems would be solved by Iranian nukes.
It might be a better idea to go ahead and sell them nukes.  At least that way we would know how many they have.

Matt
August 15, 2012 at 13:45

It's interesting that we often hear this argument from those in the West, but we don't actually hear it from Iran.
What is Iran actually telling us?
The leader of Iran is Grand Ayatollah Khamenei. Given that the leadership is religious in nature, one shouldn't be shocked that Iran has a religious agenda. Yet, shocked and in utter amazement we are. Iranian leaders tell us that facilitating the return of the Mahdi is the driving force behind its nuclear program. To prepare for the return of the Mahdi, Iran needs to generate millions of deaths because the Mahdi will only return during this time of great chaos.
I know that those in the West cannot believe what I just wrote. And they won't take the time to listen to Iranian religious leaders. So the West will get to suffer the consequences. The West will be the source of millions of deaths required for the return of the Mahdi.
 

Bankotsu
August 15, 2012 at 13:32

Rare to see such common sense articles here. 

abdul rahman
August 15, 2012 at 10:31

the problem is zionism imposing its will on powerful nations.It is an open secret that any american presidents would kiss the foot of zionist leaders and dutifully follow their evil intentions. Otherwise Israel would be the first to be punished for hiding nuclear weapons and terrorising and occupying Palestine for 60 years. America enslaved by 
Israel would do anything to satisfy the whims and desires of the Zionist leaders.

Patch
August 15, 2012 at 07:15

Iran's history, just like any other country, defines its national identity. While much of current Iranian mistrust towards the West may well be based on the events of the last century the fact that Iran (or Persia if you will) was once one of the greatest superpowers the Earth has ever seen and that it has '5000 years' complex history no doubt shapes this as well.
Taking that into account I'd have to disagree with the assertion that Iran's history in pointless in this issue.

JohnX
August 15, 2012 at 03:38

 As Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told me some years ago in Vienna, “We are a nation with 5000 years of history, the world should not speak to us like animals.”
 
What is it with nations and thier demand for a 5000 year history, its never 5400 or 7000  or 4500, its like a 5000 year history is supposed to mean something.
 
When in reality its a pointless issue, its the today that makes a nation not what happened in the past. Every nation state is made up of different people throughout history. The fact that one period of history says that a certain people lived in that area doesn't mean that the people living there today are thier descendants, even if they use the same or similar name.
 
It was called Persia and was made up of Zoastrian worshippers and yet the Muslim Iranians want to say that they are due respect because of that fact?

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