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Iran and Nuclear Proliferation
Transcript of Iran and Nuclear Proliferation
Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu stated in a speech to the UN on September 27th 2012, that Iran was within 6 months of enough enriched nuclear stockpiles to develop a nuclear weapon capable of threatening Israel, and used a red line on a cartoon bomb to illustrate the impending need for military intervention. Options for unilateral Israeli military action are limited and include: 1) deploying Israeli commandos to strike enriched uranium stockpiles in Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, 2) bombing nuclear sites with submarine cruise missiles, and 3) “regime decapitation” assassinating Iranian leadership, hoping for a US intervention in the resulting destabilization and nuclear risk. There is much opposition to Netanyahu’s hawkish policies both from his own President Shimon Peres and Israel’s American ally in Obama’s administration.
The United States policies regarding Iran have been primarily soft powers much like those that were employed against North Korea during its process of nuclear development, focusing heavily on sanctions to deter leaders from pursuing nuclear armaments. U.S. also specifically focuses on maintaining Israel’s ‘qualitative military advantage’ in the region, giving millions of dollars in military aid to Israel, but also uses this aid as a leash to help constrain Israel from acting unilaterally against Iran.
Public policies consistently purport Iranian intentions towards peaceful nuclear development and portraying themselves as victims of Western oppression, as well as steadfastly taking a hostile, militarized position towards the Israeli state and anything they view as infringement on their nuclear independence. Many (in the U.S. and Israel especially) claim that Iran’s many historic offers at the bargaining table are merely feints to buy them more time to secretly develop their nuclear capabilities while keeping their opposition in a diplomatic balancing act. There is also evidence that they have consistently employed indirect warfare against the Israeli state by supporting violent intra-state groups like Hezbollah and Hamas through their Syrian connections.
Brazil and Turkey
Why do they care?
Military Nuclear Supremacy
Valid Nuclear Fears
Nuclear Black Market
AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) Interest group which is influential in Congress
Works to further cement the relationship between the U.S. and Israel
Congress rubber stamps covert military actions such as intelligence gathering at the discretion of the Executive branch
Congress passes sanctions against Iran
Congress and AIPAC
Institutions responsible for providing U.S. with intelligence assessments of nuclear threats, have used drones, planes, and satellites to assess nuclear development in Iran. The C.I.A. was involved in the loss of an intact U.S. drone on Iranian soil a year ago.
They had a history of operations in Iran during the time of the Shah, and were often accused by those now in power of violating the sovereignty of Iran, dictating their will over the Shah.
In recent years, vsiting U.S. citizens have been arrested by Iran and charged with being spies, Switzerland has been used as a neutral party to facilitate extraction.
The E.U. basically follows the U.S.’s lead on sanctions against Iran.
At one point the E.U. accounted for 20% of Iran’s oil export and was their 3rd largest trading partner
However the E.U. has official relations with Iran unlike the U.S.
E.U. Member states have embassies in Iran
Assad regime is one of Iran’s only allies in the region
The U.S. and their allies are trying to intervene in their civil war, now promising military support to rebels
Russia and China are blocking U.N. intervention
U.S. is currently giving arms and aid to rebel groups in
Has chemical weapon stockpiles which it has used to suppress its people, triggering the U.S. redline for militarily supporting the rebels
Allied with Hamas and Hezbollah, potential to supply terrorists with credible threats to Israeli security
Iran’s nuclear deterrent would cover Syria under a blanket of protection
Developing into a U.S. Iranian proxy war
North Korea has developed positive, though largely geopolitically insignificant relations with Iran since the 1979 revolution. This can be seen through the continual and current exchange of scientific and educational information, arms and other materials. North Korea has a nuclear weapons program and has possibly helped Iran with their own development. They have gained something of a common adversary in the U.S., especially since being listed together in Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’.
It is highly possible that Iran views North Korea as an instructional lesson for handling the U.S.'s sanction tactics, as they attempted to use similar sanctions and soft policies against North Korea, whose nuclear development program came to fruition anyways, although notably at significant cost to their economy and people.
Iran - North Korea
Soft Power and Sanctions
US Middle Eastern Hegemony
Wars in Afghanistan & Iraq
Perceptions of Islam
Shah Pahlavi's power began to decline as Prime Minister Mosaddeq gained influence, leading to the nationalization of British oil assets in Iran. Mosaddeq continued the nationalization process despite an economic blockade from Britain, and was removed from power in 1952. He was then restored by popular demand in 1953, and exiled the Shah later that year. On August 19th, 1953, a retired Iranian general assisted by U.S., CIA, and MI6 units staged a coup to overthrow Mosaddeq and placed him under house arrest. The Shah’s monarchy tightened its autocratic reigns on the Parliament, remaining in cahoots with western powers until the Islamic Revolution.
SIGNIFICANCE: Leads to the downturn of opinion regarding the US and western powers, remembered with popular anger, loss of support for the Shah; spurs the Shah towards nationalist reforms of the White Revolution; viewed as a violation of Iranian sovereignty
PARTIES: Iran, CIA, Britain, U.S.A.
FACTORS: Iranian Media, Iranian Economy, CIA, Western Hegemony
Overthrow of the Shah in 1979, which spawned the demise of the Pahlavi Dynasty, resulted in the installment of the Islamic Republic of Iran by popular referendum led by former exile, Ayatollah Khomeini.
On Nov. 4, 1979 Islamist students, joined by Iranian police forces and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard took over the American Embassy in Tehran, holding 52 American hostages for over a year.
SIGNIFICANCE: These series of events deeply strained relations between Iran and the U.S. creating riff on a governmental level and among each countries people . Sets tone for Islamic fundamentalism in Iranian government and distaste for Western values at a governmental level. Creates the institutional power of the Islamic clergy in Iran.
PARTIES: U.S., Iran
FACTORS: American Media Outlets, Iranian Media Outlets, Political Islam, Perception of Islam
Iraq/Iran tensions began growing over a border dispute over the Arvand Round, a waterway between the states critical to oil shipping. These tensions resulted in an Iranian border incursion by an Iraqi tank division, fended off by the Shah’s army. After the Islamic revolution in Iran, blatant disputes mounted to a head when Saddam’s Iraqi forces invaded Iran in Sept. 22, 1980. Iraqi forces were battled to a stalemate close inside Iranian borders. Eventually, Iran went on the offensive into Iraq. U.S. helped Iraq which ultimately resulted in the end of the war. This resulted in a combatant death toll of over a half a million, killing off a whole generation. During this war Iraq was also firing missiles at Israel but because of U.S. influence, Israel did not respond.
SIGNIFICANCE: during this conflict was the downing of an Iranian civilian airliner (Flight 655) by U.S. forces supporting Iraq, an incident with a death toll of 290 ranking amongst the top 10 disasters in aviation history.
PARTIES: Israel, Iran, U.S.
FACTORS: U.S. Media Outlets,
U.S. use of surveillance drones and the funding of rebellious groups against the interests of the Islamic state.
Summer 2010: Stuxnet virus sabotages Iranian nuclear facilities, setting back Iranian research programs. Many suspect that the virus was deployed by U.S. or Israel.
Multiple incidents of drone accidents have occurred over the years, the most recent incident on Dec. 4 2011, with a Lockheed Sentinel UAV being purportedly captured by Iranian cyber-warfare unit.
There have also been allegations that US forces have been backing terrorist groups within Iranian borders for strategic information gathering purposes, specifically the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK). According to reports, incorporating the insurgent group into U.S. military operations in Iraq was a moved pushed through by the Pentagon, and was opposed by the State Department, National Security Council and the National Security Adviser.
SIGNIFICANCE: 1st direct action taken by US government’s suspicions and nuclear concerns regarding Iran. Continual violation of Iranian territorial sovereignty and use of terrorist groups as proxies to inspire insurgency
PARTIES: U.S. , Iran
FACTORS: US Media Outlets, Iranian media outlets, CIA
Constantly publicly threatened by Iranian leaders
Iran is funding local terrorist groups in Lebanon and the West Bank: Hezbollah and Hamas
Israel maintains their military edge in the region by being the only nuclear power
Iran maintains active forces in Syria assisting the current Assad regime
Syrian regime has enjoyed protection from Russia and China, and are a critical ally of Iran in the area
Valid Nuclear Fears
American media outlets tend to display anti-Iranian sentiment
Bias in narrative in favor of the U.S.
Building a narrative of conflict with Iran, arguably foreshadowing violent conflict
American Media Outlets
Perceptions of Islam
View of Middle East as security risk and a hotspot conflict area since after WWII.
Dominated by iron-clad U.S. relationship with Israel and security of Israel.
Have Iran surrounded by U.S. military and interests. Intensive involvement in area conflicts historically based. Involved in many surrounding countries with both military and financial aid.
Arab Spring likely weakens influence
U.S. Middle Eastern Hegemony
The cost of two wars in the Middle East is weighing heavily on domestic attitudes regarding starting another open conflict with a foreign country. The popular mentality in America being that we should fix our own country before getting involved in someone else’s.
Recently, the failure of the government to come to a resolution regarding the fiscal cliff has significantly cut military spending, though it has not significantly affected U.S. combat potential.
Justification for U.S. invasion of Iraq fell through when WMD’s were not found
Post regime plans were non-existent for what the U.S. was going to do after overthrowing regime
Destabilizing effect of two Middle Eastern powers being removed leaves Iran as one of the remaining stable Islamic countries in the region
Geographic proximity and ethnic tensions in the region have put Iran in a critical conflict context
U.S. War with Iraq and Afghanistan
This contention in this dynamic is a result of the different sources of power which the two leaders of the state derive their powers from, one from the religious faction in the clerical Council of Guardians, the other from popular. This dynamic has been stressing under the increased pressures that economic sanctions have been putting on the country. As an example, President Admedinejad accepted a proposal 3 years ago with the United States, but the Supreme Leader countermanded this negotiation and nullified Iranian cooperation.
Recently, the Supreme Leader has publicly blamed President Ahmadinejad's administration for many of the effects of sanctions get constricting their the economy, blaming Ahmadinejad's mismanagement of the country for their economic crises. (e.g. tomato crisis)
Iranian President vs Supreme Leader
Iran considers itself in many ways the last true bastion of Islam in the Middle East, engendering a regime rhetoric of Iranian exceptionalism.
Iranian public has felt offended and threatened since Bush's labeling as part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ by the United States and has since formalized and strengthened relations with North Korea, the other remaining member of the ‘Axis of Evil’.
Military capabilities of Iranian military are significant and threatening, as proved by their capture of a surveillance drone a year ago that the United States was using for intelligence gathering. In addition to this, unknown bombers have been targeting their nuclear scientists, and Iranian leaders have publicly blamed Israel for the attacks.
Iranian Security Interests
News is strictly government controlled and widely censored for a variety of purposes, both admitted by the government and surmised outside observers.
Censorship is used as a tool by the regime to maintain their power, and has included in the past the suppression of female activists bringing forward petitions for the improvement of women's rights.
Anti-american rhetoric is in lockstep with the regime and is intended to shape the Iranian public's opinion of the United States, Israel, and the conflict at large.
Outside reporters are not often allowed into Iran to do reporting and most outside of Iran have to rely on Iranian news to get information about Iran.
Iranian Media Outlets
Iranian oil represents the country's biggest export, comprising 80% of its export revenue. This represents a critical factor in the regime's ability to maintain power, as the government has the money to both suppress the people and maintain offset costs of providing for government services to an impoverished and thus less taxable citizenry.
Sanctions against oil have hit the countries export revenues the hardest, especially in the past year since the E.U.. Iran's primary argument for nuclear energy is to focus oil reserves on revenue generation for the government.
Political Islam is a significant factor in this conflict because it is a defining trait of Iran and in many ways Iran is a case of exceptionalism in its degree of embracing the ideal of adopting Islam as a guide for their country's law and governance.
In many ways this the theological derivation of the Iranian state is a claim to the people that the regime's choices are ordained by divine mandate.
Has mixed effects on the dynamic of the conflict, and is a cultural difference which marks many of the parties interpretations of and biases towards each other.
For Israel, political Islam, especially in Iran, is viewed as being anti-zionist and threatening to Israel
Iranian economy is struggling under sanctions, but the government has tried to put this in a positive light claiming the new found independence has made their country stronger.
Publicly acknowledged inflation rate is at 28%, though some claim is as high as 50%. Cost of living and food prices have risen drastically.
Oil is the biggest revenue generating industry in the Iranian economy and has been hit hard by sanctions. Iran no longer ships oil to the European Union, one its biggest consumers. Businesses no longer buy goods from Iranian manufacturers and many avenues that supported their financial institutions have been blocked.
Protests on any significant scale have only recently occurred, first during the 2009 Presidential election and then again in the capital of Tehran in October of last year, both put down violently by the government.
In large part because of the sanctions, many medical patients are lacking the aid required for proper treatment
Iranian Economy and Sanctions
Iranian Nuclear Development – Medical + Energy
Iran has claimed that military nuclear development is within their capabilities, but have never claimed that they are building such weapons and insist that their program is directed solely at medical and energy research. They still claim that this form of nuclear technology would contradict Islamic law.
The IAEA has found Iran in violation of the U.N. Nuclear Proliferation Treaty multiple times over the past few years, and in a recent report concluded that they in fact have a sufficient supply of near-20% uranium to make one nuclear warhead within 1.2-4.7 months, and enough enrichment, mining, and production facilities to produce a second warhead within 4.7-14 months.
Iran strategically benefits from obtaining nuclear arms because it would secure the benefit of negotiating within the parameters of scenarios of mutually assured destruction, distinctly changing their bargaining position in the region.
This also provides them with more power in regards to targeting Israel, either through missile deployment or through ground detonation via anti-Israeli groups such as Hezbollah or Hamas.
Iranian Nuclear Development – Military Purposes
Russia has helped with Iran nuclear program in addition to China and Pakistan.
Pakistani scientist selling out nuclear secrets, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan (Iran and possibly in the past to Lybia and North Korea)
He said "Since Iran was an important Muslim country, we wished Iran to acquire this technology. Western countries pressured us unfairly. If Iran succeeds in acquiring nuclear technology, we will be a strong bloc in the region to counter international pressure."
"Iran's nuclear capability will neutralize Israel's power. We had advised Iran to contact the suppliers and purchase equipment from them," he added.
The market may expand if a regional arms race begins!
Nuclear Black Market
Congress + AIPAC
Military Nuclear Supremacy
Valid Nuclear Fears
Iranian Media Outlets
Medical and Energy Purposes
President vs. Supreme Leader
Nuclear Black Market
Islamic Revolution/Hostage Crisis
Iran-Iraq War and Civilian Airliner
2003-2013 Border incursions/ Sovereignty violation and Threats to close the Straight of Hormuz
Bush’s “Axis of Evil” Speech
President George W Bush first coined the term “Axis of Evil” in his 2002 State of the Union Address, accusing North Korea, Iran, and Iraq of aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons and constituting an axis of evil arming to threaten the peace of the world. He also accused Iran of supporting terrorist groups. This was one of the rhetorical tactics Bush used to garner support for the “war on terror”
SIGNIFICANCE: Mark of renewed official tensions between U.S. and Iran; also paves way for strengthening friendship between Iran and North Korea
PARTIES: U.S., Iran
FACTORS: U.S. Media Outlets, Perceptions of Islam,
Timeline #1: Significant Events and Disputes
In the 1950’s President Eisenhower began peaceful nuclear programs in Iran and Pakistan. He believed it would be beneficial to demonstrate the constructive use of uranium for energy, learning, and medical purposes to counter its associations with atomic destruction in the wake of World War II.
Beginning in 2004 IAEA adopted a unanimous resolution demanding for the suspension of nuclear development in Iran. This led to a series of proposals:
2005, a proposal submitted by the EU-3 that required Iran to cease enrichment that adhered to the Paris Agreement. Instead the proposal was rejected, causing Iran to officially be labeled as violators of the non-proliferation treaty.
2006-2008, a series of resolutions were passed through the United Nations to ban nuclear supply lines (technology and materials), freeze arms sales and foreign assets, and continued with extending sanctions to financial institutions, exports and travel bans.
2009-2010 protests in support of Presidential-contender and reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi contesting the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Despite the peaceful nature of these protests, the Iranian government cracked down on the crowds with pepper-spray, batons, and firearms, killing up to 72 unarmed civilians. Seen as a pre-Arab Spring uprising of support for secular reform within the Islamic Republic.
SIGNIFICANCE: Our expert correspondence has told Jeremy that Moussavi really won the election and even received a phone call confirming his victory from the Supreme Leader who warned him about the threat of government hardliners. There have been ongoing disputes between the supreme leader and the president causing a struggle for power and using of the president as a scapegoat. The supreme leader in the next election will be supporting a candidate who will only confirm his power. The green revolution was a sign of corruption, inner government turmoil, and a sign to the American president that many Iranians support America and more secular values than those of their current leadership.
PARTIES: Iran, U.S.
FACTORS: Iranian Media Outlets, American Media Outlets, President vs. Supreme Leader, Iranian Economy
Timeline #2: IEAE Reports and Failed Negotiations
"Atoms for Peace"
Iran publicly claims that nuclear development is for energy and medical concerns.
Energy plan is to focus on exporting natural resources for monetary value and fuel country with longer term nuclear power plants. Their enrichment of uranium beyond 20% is not defensible for this purpose, as uranium in commercial light water reactors only require uranium to be enriched to 3-5%.
Medical claims have served as a bargaining point for U.S. proposals, which have featured supplying Iran with uranium appropriately enriched for medical purposes. Iran's production of uranium enriched beyond 20% is defensible though, as many countries including Canada and Australia commonly use large quantities of such uranium for nuclear chemical treatments to patients.
U.S. Sanctions and soft power policies
Iran Disbands its Nuclear Sites
The Ayatollah issues a fatwa pronouncing that the pursuit of nuclear weapons contradicts Islamic law.
Evidence now suggests that nuclear weapons research began again soon after the Iran-Iraq War as the Iranian nuclear program expanded significantly in secret.
The “Grand Bargain Proposal”
December 2002: U.S. accuses Iran of having militarized programs for developing nuclear weapons.
The Swiss ambassador referred a proposal to the U.S. government that he developed with the Iranians to ease tension.
Iran demanded that the U.S. no longer challenge its legitimacy, abolish all sanctions, and support Iran in its disputes with Iraq such as reparations and land issues. In addition to this they wanted U.S. support for peaceful nuclear, biological, and chemical technology development, understanding Iran’s valid security interest and the stoppage of terrorist organizations in Iran supported by the U.S.
U.S. would receive: full disclosure involving their concerns about WMD development in Iran, decisive actions on terrorist cells including stopping Al Qaida, and demilitarizing Hamas and Hezbollah, and support the stabilizing of a no-Islamic democratic government in Iraq.
Criticisms: The Iranian representatives lacked sufficient official support by the Iranian government and was viewed as a possible ploy to embarrass the U.S. while buying more time to pursue their nuclear program
"In fact, there is no nuclear weapon in Iran now, but Israel, which is also located in our region, possesses nuclear arms. Turkey is the same distance from both of them. What has the international community said against Israel so far? Is this the superiority of law or the law of superiors?"- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
2004-2008 IAEA Problems and U.N Resolutions
Turkey and Brazil Negotiations
Iran, Turkey and Brazil proposed a declaration that would send enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a research reactor. The reactor would be used for medical purposes and the enrich uranium sent away would be enough to dispose any possibility of Iran’s ability to build the bomb.
Reaction: This declaration received support from the international community; however, it was countered with a similar deal that would send the Uranium to France. Although this deal was first accepted by the President of Iran, pressure from the Supreme Leader and other political hardliners caused Iran to reject the deal. Also, by the time the deal was brokered the amount of uranium Iran would send away would be insignificant considering they were rapidly developing it. At this point Turkey and Brazil were hoping that this agreement, although it would not solve the problem, could be used as a stepping stone.
Again seen as a delaying tactic to stop sanctions. The American's decided to reject the proposal because they believed sanction would be more effective. In 2010, the U.N. approved of sanctions that targeted military financial transactions made by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
June 1, 2012: European Union places embargo on Iranian oil exports, severely restricting their most vital export.
Following this embargo, Iranian exports have begun to suffer. In 2011, the CIA factbook identified Iranian exports to be $128.6 billion, within a year, it shrank to $66.37 billion, crippling the economy.
Turning the Situation Around
The U.S. has largely advocated the use of soft power policies and used their position on the U.N. security council. North Korea is an excellent case example for the U.S. use of soft power to dissuade nuclear development which failed.
Iran possibly looking towards North Korean success as an example of how to navigate conflict with U.S.; by ignoring them.
U.S. has convinced the E.U. and other allies to follow their lead in imposing stricter sanctions against Iran
Western stereotypes of Terrorism and Oil money
The Middle East is viewed as an homogenous Arab place and culture, which Iran does not fit
Negative outlooks on Political Islam
Cultural criticisms of treatment of women and religious minorities
Viewed as autocratic and backwards
Viewed as in conflict with secular beliefs
Dark Blue Writing
United States Affiliated Text
Israel Affiliated Text
Iran Affiliated Text
Remaining the only relevant nuclear power in the immediate region is a strong priority to both Israeli and American military strategy in the Middle East, who have maintained the policy of Israel's qualitative military advantage through foreign aid and collaborative projects for the past 40 years.
Nuclear power represents a significant irreplaceable threshold of military capability, being weapons of such a destructive potential to existentially threaten targets at the magnitude of cities.
Negative: an increase in A
causes a decrease in B
Positive: an increase in A
causes an increase in B
There have been numerous rounds of negotiations, with the most recent ones failing on April 6th in Kazakhstan. Although the United States is now serious about pursuing these negotiations, Iran cannot be fully vested in the negotiations because of the internal concerns of the upcoming elections in June. Our intelligence says that Iran has not decided to build a bomb but has experimented with weaponization. The main objective is to prevent Iran from reaching the point in the nuclear process where they can “dash” to the bomb. This would make it hard for the U.S. to prevent the bomb at that point and would only take 4-6 months.
Sanctions have been effective from an economic standpoint, crippling the Iranian economy and leaving the Iranian people in dire economic straits, however, it has been in many ways ineffective at putting pressure on Iranian decision makers, since the blame of the effects of the sanctions has been placed on the U.S. by the Iranian people, rather than on their leaders refusal to halt their military nuclear research programs. It has effectively put tension on the relationship between the President Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, with the Supreme Leader publicly accusing the President of incompetence in managing their country's flagging economy. For this reason in particular, and because Ahmadinejad has reached his constitutional term limit, the upcoming Iranian elections are important to consider in these proceedings. These elections are predicted to be used to consolidate the Supreme Leaders power. There are two ways Ahmadinejad's successor can proceed, either successfully negotiating with the U.S. to strengthen government and improve the economy or possibly becoming more polar and using anti America sentiment as a rallying cry to continue pursuing nuclear development.
Defending the talks and laying out Comprehensive Plan
Establishing a place to start and 3rd party involvement
Create a platform for serious negotiations which can entice serious participation of key actors
This can begin at a direct or indirect level, but must involve expressions of good faith from both sides. For Iran: halting military grade uranium enrichment; for the U.S.: respecting Iranian positions and not accusing them of commitment issues.
This will need to involve key actors from both sides who can make abiding commitments on behalf of their regimes without risking obstructive internal dissent.
Negotiation must be embraced as the preferred alternative for both sides
Mobilize positive and hopeful media coverage of talks to gain popular support.
Negotiations should start with discussions, confirmation, and acknowledgment of failures from both sides on fragments of previous proposals; especially the Brazil-Turkey negotiations. This will serve as a framework for the new proposal.
Significant parties that should be included would be the IAEA, Turkey, Brazil, and Switzerland as historic negotiators who have directly dealt with this issue in the past.
Laying out critical points at which international relations between the countries can be repaired.
this portion must pay attention to general perceptions of the people within each country.
Plan must be developed as a long term series of small concessions: Recognizing Iran's right for civilian nuclear program.
Defending talks by establishing consequences for violations for Iran if they breakaway from the established timeline for agreements.
Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have a positive correlation with US Middle Eastern Hegemony, as the increased US participation in the region increased the US’s real and perceived influence in the region.
Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had a deteriorating effect on the Perceptions of Islam, as Americans began to associate Islam with war and the deaths of loved ones.
Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq exacerbated the US’s relations with the EU and other allies.
The Wars in Afghanistan have a negative effect on the US Economy because of the unprecedented expense of nation building.
The increase in US Middle Eastern Hegemony then increases the involvement and level of investment in Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as increasing the Security Interests of Iran.
Security interests encourage nuclear investment for Weapon Purposes.
Iran would turn to its ally North Korea in order to assist them with nuclear development for Weapon Purposes, thus improving the relationship between Iran and North Korea.
Nuclear development for Weapon Purposes positively correlates with Israeli valid nuclear fears.
Israeli military nuclear supremacy contributes to the problem of security interests in Iran.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was originally opened for signatures in 1968, and is intended to promote the non-proliferation and disarmament of nuclear weapons, as well as protect the rights to the development of peaceful nuclear technology.
The Treaty has 190 signers, representing the mostly widely respected arms treaty in history, with 5 nuclear weapon states as signers on the treaty, those being the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.
Four states who possess nuclear armaments are not party to the treaty, those being India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel. Numerous nuclear states which split off from the USSR have disarmed their nuclear weapons, however these represent states which inherited nuclear weapons, although South Africa remains the only state which had its own nuclear development program and willingly gave up its arms, a potentially instructive case given the degree of progress Iran has made towards nuclear armament.
1st Agreement should be aimed at a display of commitment to the negotiation process, solidifying the grounds on which talks can proceed.
Shipping some military grade enriched uranium outside of Iran base on the Turkey-Brazil Negotiations of the past.
Following the timeline by which the U.S. and international community can slowly remove sanctions.
Iran must present a plan for gradually demilitarizing their nuclear program to be overseen by the IAEA after the first agreement.
South Africa is the only state which has voluntarily disarmed its nuclear weapons after pursuing a program of nuclear development, and is instructive because the disarmament occurred at least partially in the expectation of a regime transition.
They had produced 6 nuclear devices beginning in the 1970’s, inspired by fears of communist proxy wars in nearby Angola and Namibia, and a sense of isolation from other developed nations based on their practice of apartheid.
By 1994, upon the completion of the IAEA inspection of South African disarmament procedures, they found South Africa in compliance with disarmament procedures for all 6 of their warheads.
South Africa and Nuclear Disarmament
Perceptions of Islam
Wars in Afganistan + Iraq
Valid Nuclear Fears
US Middle Eastern Hegemony
Nuclear Black Market
EU + other allies
Conflict Dynamics Map Part 2
U.S. Sanctions and Soft Power policies have a negative effect on EU and other allies because they were major trade partners with Iran before sanctions were implemented.
U.S. Sanctions and Soft Power policies have a negative effect on Iranian Oil exports, because they severely limit the number of possible consumers for Iranian oil.
U.S. sanctions and Soft Power policies have a negative effect on the Iranian economy, as import/export trade slows to a crawl, inflating the Iranian currency and impoverishing the country as a whole.
Iranian oil has a negative impact on the Iranian economy because of the resource curse of exportable resources. It has caused Iran’s economy to stagnate and not achieve the diversity that would help it survive the strict sanctions it’s come under.
The Iranian economy has a negative impact on Medical and Energy Purposes because the sanctions levied against Iran means that they have an impossible time obtaining the necessary medical equipment to sustain patients.
The Iranian economy has a negative impact on the President vs Supreme Leader dynamic because the Supreme Leader keeps publicly accusing President Ahmadinejad of incompetence, blaming him for the failing economy; in reality their economy is suffering more from foreign sanctions than internal mismanagement.
Political Islam is negatively impacted by the rift between the Supreme Leader and President Ahmadinejad because this public rift and tension in the Islamic Republic is diminishing to the legitimacy of a religiously guided state.
Iranian Media Outlets have a negative impact on Sanctions and Soft Power policies by both exacerbating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, with government controlled media blaming the U.S. for the sanctions placed against the country.
Iranian Oil exports
Sanctions + Soft Power policies
EU + other allies
Medical + Energy Purposes
President vs Supreme Leader
Conflict Dynamics Map Part 1
Reaching "1st Agreement" &
Laying out a Comprehensive Plan
Statement of Problem
Policy 1: Immediate Military Intervention
How can the United States effectively pursue the confident demilitarization of Iran's nuclear research program? How can this pursuit be used as an opportunity to be mutually beneficial to the U.S.'s security interests in the Middle East? How should this goal be pursued with regards to maintaining and improving the U.S.'s reputation and leadership position in the international community?
The primary stake the United States has in resolving this conflict is protecting their security interests, as a nuclear Iran can cause an arms race in the region, put our allies in danger and prove as a deterrent on future disputes including threats to close the Strait of Hormuz. Our interests in Middle Eastern regional stability primarily revolve around oil resources and the security of its allies in the region.
Militarily intervention to halt Iran's nuclear program can be carried out immediately, via insertion of special forces recovery teams, or strategic missile bombardment of nuclear research facilities and stockpiles. Military action could also be taken against economic and military targets to render Iran helpless and non-threatening.
Military intervention can remove the immediate threat that Iranian nuclear stockpiles pose.
Temporary solution: does not address Iranian desires for nuclear development and can only delay the program briefly.
Most likely would not be endorsed by U.N. or international community
China and Russia on the security council would use veto to block U.N. support
Britain and France are proponents of sanctions and would not condone this actions.
The cost of ensuring success is high because the risk of failure, while not high, has disastrous repercussions
Policy 2: Containment
Sanctions have been highly successful at crippling the Iranian economy and are much less risky for the U.S. to pursue. Containment can be escalated up to the point of blockading Iranian ports along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Sanctions have so far been focused on Iranian oil exports but could be expanded to a wider range of goods.
Sanctions so far have been highly effective, as Iranian GDP has plummeted to half of what it was a year ago before increased U.S. sanctions and E.U. oil sanctions.
Sanctions are a non-violent method of pursuing U.S. interests and have experienced support in the international community.
Sanctions have crippled their currency causing food prices to rise and internal strife.
Sanctions are ineffective at directly targeting Iranian nuclear development.
Sanctions place an economic burden born by the international community at large.
Sanctions place the most pressure on the Iranian people, who do not make decisions regarding Iranian nuclear policy.
Sanctions, even if successfully implemented, can fail simply because Iran can continue development in spite of them.
“Pressure alone will never get a deal”- Joe Cicerone
Armbruster, Ben. "New Report: Nuclear Deal Should Allow Iran A Civilian Program." ThinkProgress RSS. N.p., 4 Apr. 2013. Web. <http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/04/04/1820991/report-iran-civilian-program/?mobile=nc>.Explain the need for Iran in future negotiations to maintain a facility for civilian use Nuclear Power.
Cirincione, Joe. "United States Current and Future Polices Regarding Iran's Nuclear Program." Online interview. 23 Apr. 2013.This is interview consisted of determining the differences between United States policy regarding North Korea and Iran. We discussed further the repercussions for implementing certain policies and what has hindered past negotiations.
Hurlburt, Heather. "Determining the Affects of Iran's Nuclear Program." Telephone interview. 24 Apr. 2013.Discussed Iran's role in the region and how the political situation there has made negotiations difficult. U.S. current policies and the problems that have hindered deescalation were reiterated.Outlined the best policies that should be implemented for the future.
Pickering, Thomas. "How to Get Iran to Un-clench Its Fist." Model U.N. College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. 12 Apr. 2013. Lecture.How to get Iran to sit at the negotiating table. Background of the conflict and disputes. He also expressed his opinions of what was beneficial from past negotiations.
Warrick, Joby. "Waning Hopes for Nuclear Deal Spur Calls for U.S. Outreach to Iranian Public." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 05 Apr. 2013. Web. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/waning-hopes-for-nuclear-deal-spur-calls-for-us-outreach-to-iranian-public/2013/04/04/358d66f8-9d61-11e2-a941-a19bce7af755_story.html>.Setting a guideline to prevent the Iranian government to use the U.S. government as a scapegoat for internal problems. Also, building a relationship with Iranian people to pressure their government to concede so sanctions will be removed.
Articles Discussed in Interviews
-The New York Times (David Sanger), “Report Urges White House to Rethink Iran Penalties,” April 17, 2013
-Wall Street Journal,“US Urged to Hold Talks with Tehran, Ease Sanctions,” April 16, 2013
-Foreign Policy, “A new report urges Washington to strengthen diplomacy with Iran”, April 17 (Gordon Lubold, Situation Report)
-Al-Monitor (Barbara Slavin), “Ex-Officials Urge Obama: Run, Don’t Walk to Iran Diplomacy,” April 17, 2013
-J Street, “J Street Welcomes Iran Project Report Calling for Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy,” April 17, 2013
A diplomatic solution would involve key leaders on both sides and would need to be mediated by third party states, as well as include an address of the grievances of the IAEA. This solution has been attempted many times before, however, previous stumbling blocks are addressed and discussed in “Turning the Situation Around.”
The U.S. can pursue it's interests non-violently, fostering future relations and trust in the Middle East, a region which has been destabilized largely because of a history of foreign intervention. This is of special interest because it can help to remedy the perception of the West's generally hostile relations with predominantly Islamic Middle Eastern countries.
Can simultaneously address the immediate issue of nuclear development, as well as the long term goal of repairing relations between Iran and the U.S. after decades of disputes since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
The U.S. can escape the high dollar costs of both military intervention and continuing sanctions.
Can make the U.S. look weak when dealing with similar future conflicts if concessions made are too much.
Can encourage other actors to hold out in disputes with the U.S. if we seem unwilling to employ military power.
Can fail if Iran uses negotiations and outward compliance as a smokescreen while they repair their economy under lessened sanctions and continue secret nuclear development.
Waiting for the right moment*
Past negotiations have been hindered by the political climate in the United States, Israel, and Iran.
Sanctions have been easier for President Obama's administration. Before his reelection and he did not want to appear to be making concessions and "dovish" compared to his challenger.
Recently had elections, but the government has now become more balanced making the perfect times for negotiations.
Iran struggles for power internally has caused confusion on what negotiation actually had government support.
The government was ready to have serious talks, but the climate in the U.S. and Israel prevented constructive negotiations.
Iran has hosted a Presidential election, electing a candidate with history of nuclear negotiations with the U.S. To many this is seen as a possibility for deescalation
Discussion of Policy Surrounding Conflict
Negative: an increase in A
causes a decrease in B
Positive: an increase in A
causes an increase in B
Washington Free Beacon Staff. (2013, 03 05). Top general: At least one arab state to go nuclear if iran does.The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved from http://freebeacon.com/regional-nuclear-proliferation-likely-if-iran-goes-nuclear-mattis-says/
Hughes, D. (2013, 03 05). John kerry concedes iran is moving closer to possessing nuclear weapon. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Politics/john-kerry-concedes-iran-moving-closing-possessing-nuclear/story?id=18655927
KleinOnline Staff. (2013, 03 11). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://kleinonline.wnd.com/2013/03/11/bolton-israel-has-very-short-period-of-time-to-strike-iran-warns-tehran-will-soon-possess-nukes-beyond-jewish-states-reach/
Kredo, A. (2013, 03 11). U.n.: Hamas rocket killed palestinian child. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved from http://freebeacon.com/u-n-hamas-rocket-killed-palestinian-child/
Kredo, A. (2013, 03 12). Boiling point: Violence mounts in west bank, gaza in lead up to obama visit. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved from http://freebeacon.com/boiling-point/
Graff, P. (2013, 03 06). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://ca.news.yahoo.com/insight-irans-khamenei-seen-tightening-grip-vote-replace-204833293.html
Hawkins, H. (2013, 03 07). North korea says it will launch nuclear attack on america read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4829035/north-korea-says-it-will-launch-nuclear-attack-on-america.html
Worth, R. F., & Chivers, C. J. (2013, 03 02). Seized chinese weapons raise concerns on iran. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/world/middleeast/seized-arms-off-yemen-raise-alarm-over-iran.html?_r=1&
Associated Free Press. (2013, 03 02). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.france24.com/en/20130301-brazil-get-its-first-nuclear-subs-0
Associated Free Press. (2013, 02 26). There is a 'diplomatic path' with iran, insists john kerry. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9895286/There-is-a-diplomatic-path-with-Iran-insists-John-Kerry.html
Blaire, D., & Ryall, J. (2013, 02 15). Iran is taking same path to nuclear weapons as north korea, says ban ki-moon. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9873953/Iran-is-taking-same-path-to-nuclear-weapons-as-North-Korea-says-Ban-Ki-Moon.html
Straw, J. (2013, 02 25). Even if iran gets the bomb, it won’t be worth going to war. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9892742/Even-if-Iran-gets-the-Bomb-it-wont-be-worth-going-to-war.html
Foster, P. (2013, 02 26). Us congress in urgent call to ecb to tighten sanctions on iran. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9894143/US-Congress-in-urgent-call-to-ECB-to-tighten-sanctions-on-Iran.html
Crilly, R. (2013, 02 26). Pakistan to sign gas pipeline deal with iran. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/9894814/Pakistan-to-sign-gas-pipeline-deal-with-Iran.html
Miles, T. (2013, 02 19). North korea threatens south with "final destruction". Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/19/us-nkorea-threat-idUSBRE91I0J520130219
Goodman, A. (2013, 02 19). Report: Hagel said israel headed toward apartheid, netanyahu a ‘radical’.The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved from http://freebeacon.com/report-hagel-said-israel-headed-toward-apartheid-netanyahu-a-radical/
Sengupta, K. (2013, 02 18). Revealed: Russia's double dealing on arms to assad regime leaves uk isolated over syria. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/revealed-russias-double-dealing-on-arms-to-assad-regime-leaves-uk-isolated-over-syria-8500385.html
Barrionuevo, A., & Arsu, S. (2010, 02 16). Brazil and turkey near nuclear deal with iran. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/world/middleeast/17iran.html?_r=0
Albright, D., & Hinderstein, C. Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM)45th Annual Meeting Orlando, FL. (2004). Uncovering the nuclear black market: Working toward closing gaps in the international nonproliferation regime. Retrieved from Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) website: http://www.isis-online.org/publications/southasia/nuclear_black_market.html
Stokes, B. (2013, 02 18). How america and japan see the world. CNN. Retrieved from http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/18/how-america-and-japan-see-the-world/
Daniel, E. (2001). The History of Iran. (1 ed.). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
“Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
“I have made the position of the United States of America clear: Iran must not get a nuclear weapon. This is not a danger that can be contained. As President, I have said to the world that all options are on the table for achieving our objectives. America will do what we must to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”
President Obama places the burden on himself and the United States to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons whereas Bush said it was up to the world. Some analysts believe this dynamic means he would be willing to attack Iran if diplomatic efforts failed.
The 2009 election signified the Iranian regimes transformation from an Islamic republic to an Islamic government. The protest that resulted from this election “shook the foundations” of Iran. Since 2009, the government has taken steps to avoid a similar protest and has carefully limited the candidates to seven politicians based on certain qualifications.
The Supreme Leader wants to consolidate his power by having a President he can control. This is because he wants to be seen as the undisputed leader and he has experienced problems with the three previous Presidents during his tenure. President Ahmadinejad's and the Supreme Leader's disputes with each other have become more publicized in his second term. The Supreme Leader has since spoken of eliminating the role of the Iranian President or changing it to a parliamentary appointed Prime Minister.
The real question should not be: who will be the next President? But rather: who will be the Supreme Leader? The image that that the current Ayatollah is too powerful is growing among politicians and his closest allies which will change the scope of power the next Supreme leader will have.
RESULTS: Hassan Rohani, the "Diplomat Sheikh", has pledged loyalty to the Supreme Leader, but is ideologically independent, being the most moderate candidate on the ticket, won the 2013 Presidential elections. Rohani’s history as a nuclear negotiator for Iran has been viewed as a time of concessions and confidence building. He served this role under the reformist government of President Khatami and was well-known for convincing the administration and the Supreme Leader to move towards de-escalation.
SIGNIFICANCE: This election has shown the Iranian people’s views on their nuclear program. They constantly questioned the candidates on their policy regarding nuclear development. Many of the candidates who have been involved in negotiations and policy for the government previously have had to defend their past actions and have since changed their views. This has shown the United States plan is working to force officials to work with them in deescalating this conflict. The Iranian people are angry that talks and diplomacy have failed in solving the problem.
In addition to this it spreads the image that Iran is an open democracy and will lower the criticisms of reformists who protested during the previous elections. This is almost used as appeasement, so the Supreme Leader will not be as criticized in the years to come. This also provides a window for de-escalation, allowing Khamenei to blame conservative former President Ahmadinejad for his bull-headed pursuit of a nuclear program, even though it was a policy arena he had little power in.
UPDATE: Iran's 2013 Elections
*Election results have ripened step 1, see UPDATE
Regional Views of Israel?
Iran's Quest for Nuclear Power: A Systematic Approach to De-escalation
Panelist: Alireza Nader, Dr. Fatemah Haghighatjoo, Omid Memarian, and Suzanne Maloney,