Options for Preventing a Nuclear Iran

Options for Preventing a Nuclear Iran

  • 5 December 2007

The lecture discussed the current Western strategy to prevent
Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, which
proved to be not working. Despite increased international
sanctions, various offers of negotiations, efforts to construct
a regional alliance against it and threats of military force,
Iran appears determined to continue to develop its uranium
enrichment capacity. If the current course continues, the
United States will eventually face a very difficult choice
between two extremely bad options—accepting a nuclear
Iran or attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. Either option is
likely to undermine regional security and stability. The
speaker believed that there is still time to deploy a more
vigorous diplomatic effort to prevent, or at least delay, Iran’s
nuclear program since there are still several technical hurdles
before it acquires a credible nuclear weapons production
ability. Until Iran achieves an enrichment capacity sufficient
to produce large quantities of weapons-grade uranium,
it is likely to remain cautious, maintaining international
inspections of its nuclear facilities and avoiding actions that
contradict its claim of a peaceful nuclear program. In the
meantime, a more vigorous diplomatic campaign should
impose stronger international and regional pressures, and
involve direct engagement by the United States with Iran to
resolve the nuclear and other outstanding issues. Whether
this new approach will work is unclear, because the current
Iranian leadership may value a nuclear weapons capability
over any threats or incentives that the United States can offer.
In addition, an open diplomatic talk between Washington
and Tehran may not be possible until after the presidential
elections in the United States and Iran.

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LECTURER

Wednesday 5 December 2007

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Wednesday 5 December 2007

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