Evaluating The Effect Of The Iranian Nuclear Crisis Politics

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Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons will not contribute to regional stability. Iran nuclear crisis has became the current international politics, one of the most explosive hot topics. It is a regional crisis, but in the end it contains contradictions and commonalities in international politics. It is the evolution of the international pattern, a concentrate of crisis that the United States trying to rebuild its reputation and power in the Middle East. The Iranian nuclear crisis is the most typical post-Cold War era of a regional crisis. It appears to be the conflicts of nuclear proliferation, but in reality it is a US-Iraqi relation conflicts. Further states that the issue is not purely bilateral relations, but it is an imbalance in the international forces in the post-Cold War era. The United States took the opportunity to reshape the regional and global order by a regional pressure strategy. Other powers, such as Russia and China, would not allow a single power nation orient Middle-East situation. The crisis contains sufficient number of reasons to affect the world situation; therefore it is becoming the global conflicts.

Iran has the ambition to possess nuclear weapons not only because the regional unstable military threat, but also because it could possible reform the international power and bringing Iran a more important position in international political world. Definitely it is a cost to the regional security stability. However, it very dangerous for powers other than the U.S. to keep co-operating in developing nuclear power. Russia has just been soft on Iran nuclear policy. Pakistan has been reported supporting technology to the Iran development of nuclear. Whether anyone could justify the process of acquiring nuclear weapons, the nuclear weapon of Iran will worsen the situation in Middle East now.

As Lindsay and his colleges point out:

"The dangers of Iran's entry into the nuclear club are well known: emboldened by this development, Tehran might multiply its attempts at subverting its neighbors and encouraging terrorism against the United States and Israel; the risk of both conventional and nuclear war in the Middle East would escalate; more states in the region might also want to become nuclear powers; the geopolitical balance in the Middle East would be reordered; and broader efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons would be undermined. The advent of a nuclear Iran--even one that is satisfied with having only the materials and infrastructure necessary to assemble a bomb on short notice rather than a nuclear arsenal--would be seen as a major diplomatic defeat for the United States. Friends and foes would openly question the U.S. government's power and resolve to shape events in the Middle East. Friends would respond by distancing themselves from Washington; foes would challenge U.S. policies more aggressively." (Lindsay, James, &so on, 2010)

The focus is always been held on the U.S. and its policies in the Middle East area. This is significantly important, since the U.S. is so powerful and tied to the interests in the area. In recent years, the United States launched the "war on terror" which is obviously to reshape global strategic layout seeking strategic considerations. The U.S. posses the ability to effectively control the majority of the intermediate zone (especially rich in natural resources, geographical location of an important Middle East), which has become the key to U.S. global strategy to be achieved. From a theoretical point of view, this is an American "fringe" theory advocated in reality, which means controlling major resources. Coincidentally, the United States after the Cold War were launched four wars (the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq war), all of several major power pole in Eurasia (EU, Russia, China) (Dougherty and Pfaltzgraff, 2000). This shows that the U.S. strategic investment is focused inserting power control between major powers. If the U.S. controls the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, it will have the power to influence the world. Iran is the Middle East the region's most important and most influential countries, which makes Iran the last target in the region.

From a geo-political point of view, Iran in the Gulf in a sensitive area on the global political; from the regional influence of view, in recent years, Iran hold high the Islamic and anti-American, using Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraq, etc. However, the anti-terrorism war in Afghanistan and the Iraq war tipped Iran for the situation of vulnerable area: one on the right, another on the left. This instability tension raises firm anti-Americanism within Iran. Relying on the strong nationalism, the regime has survived because the leader has recognized the area importance and rising military movement. Although it has announced that the U.S. is the "Great Satan" and called for Israel's obliteration from the map, Iran has not been facing big threat.

But under the rising pressure of the international political need for Middle East control, Iran will become the target of any other super power nations. The need is particularly for oil resources. Unfortunately, the planet has become increasingly short for such resources. It is estimated that over the past 100 years, the world has consumed millions of years after the Earth formed by the accumulation of hydrocarbons in half (if not more so), oil supplies have passed "peak oil". At present, the Earth only has 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil. Right now, the world's daily oil consumption is 82 million barrels, which means that, even if the demand remains the same (which is impossible), the world's oil will be exhausted in 35 years (Ruppert, 2004). Iran raise the nuclear power will deter outside forces to enter the area, especially the U.S. troop presence in the Middle East. Thus, it can claim a strong identity in the Persian Gulf.

Israel is another conflict faced by Iran that been related and supported by the U.S. The Israel became so important because it possess nuclear weapons. Iran's fear is that Israel held too much power in negotiating with neighbors in the region. Iran's policy of Israel is sharp, and an equivalent nuclear status is the power in negotiation. Previous president of Iran, Rafsanjani address in his speech:

"If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such eventuality. Of course, you can see that the Americans have kept their eyes peeled and they are carefully looking for even the slightest hint that technological advances are being made by an independent Islamic country. If an independent Islamic country is thinking about acquiring other kinds of weaponry, then they will do their utmost to prevent it from acquiring them." (Perkovich, 2003)

But the risk of Iran possessing nuclear weapon against Israel again lies in the U.S. and its policy. The Israel and U.S. ally is more powerful than Iran alone. However, if the U.S. cannot stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the words of the U.S. will not withstand in the region. Israel will not enjoy the super-power of nuclear weapons anymore. Israel will less likely rely on the U.S. making decisions regarding the regional affairs. The consequence is a higher tension between Israel and Iran in the Middle East.

The treat of Iran possessing nuclear weapons will not merely on Israel. The Arabic countries are aware of the ambitions of Iran. The nuclear weapons typically reflected the technology and military power in a country. If Iran has such power, any Arabic country would try for the same technology of nuclear. Arab countries are aware that access to nuclear technology is not easy in one day. Because various conflicts in the region formed around Iran and Iraq, so the Arab countries will be the first to test of the products. Since the beginning of Iran's nuclear program, the Gulf countries in large quantities to purchase U.S. weapons, the military force will be increased by several times. We should realize that if Iran's nuclear program is not brought under control and stop, then the Middle East, the Gulf countries will be difficult to be constrained out of the nuclear weapons race in the future.

The concerns of the nuclear weapons proliferate in the Middle East then are mainly headed by the Iran's foreign affair policy, especially relations with Israel and Islam countries. But with the ambition of being the dominant country in the region, it seems little can be done to deter Iran from acquiring nuclear power. The effort should be applied from the international society, with negotiations with multi-powers, unless balance the interests of each side, solutions to Iran nuclear issued could end unhappy.

First, the U.S. leaded U.N. imposes actions to stop Iran from acquire nuclear weapons. However, countries in the world, like Iran has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Iraqi government had also signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and allow International Atomic Energy Agency) (IAEA) supervision (Lindsay, James, &so on, 2010). Further, IAEA said that Iran involving in the next 20 years on the nuclear program has always been a way of deception and lack of cooperation, including the motive to lie, blockades and hiding place of nuclear facilities. Therefore, it was reason to suspect that Iran's nuclear intentions, requests IAEA verification. Unless doing this, Iran can maintain the right to nuclear power use. The U.S.'s current strategy is to bring together the implementation of getting Iran to pay a higher price for more global support. At the same time, we should negotiate with Iran, identify the area is indeed a civilian nuclear program, and can be assured.

Second, the U.S. is trying to impose economic sanction to Iran, if Iran has further steps of acquire nuclear weapon. Although the U.N. will pass Resolutions of partial sanctions, such as the travel ban, asset freeze sanctions, large economic entities like Russia and China, who have large business relations in Iran, would not conduct a full sanction. In February 2003, Iran's secret nuclear program was discovered, the IAEA verification of Iran several times, but is unable to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program (Goldhagen, 2009). The U.N. still cannot come up with a full sanction to Iran, since parties of Security Council are diversified.

Russia and China played very subtle roles. In particular, Russia, since the 90s, it has been Iran's key nuclear facilities and fuel suppliers. Bushehr nuclear power plant is re-started with the help of Russia. Earlier this year, Russia tried to resolve the nuclear crisis, the proposed nuclear waste will be transferred to Russia to handle - this of course is because the nuclear waste produced in nuclear reactors is plutonium: the only purpose is to build an atomic bomb - also makes Russia important in dealing with the Iranian nuclear technology issue. Of course, Russia and China are reluctant to see Iran possess nuclear weapons because Russia and China has a huge economic interests in Iran, and they might change if the U.N. imposing hard economic sanction to Iran (Lindsay, James, &so on, 2010). This would delay Iran's abandon on nuclear weapons due to the large powers competing in global politics.

Third and lastly, if the sanction does not work, U.S. still announces military attack as an option. But this step even gets worse for the regional security. Military superiority of the contention is whether the ultimate means to achieve national interests. In the U.S. confrontation with Iran, the nuclear issue for the contradiction between Iran and U.S. became the intersection point of the two sides. On the surface of Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, "the rules of war", but in reality it is because the nuclear issue on the symbolic meaning inherent in the military and the military's counter-balance of the two sides. That is said, Iran will deepen its research to nuclear weapons to overcome the advantages of the U.S. military. So the military deterrence will only have the negative effects. For the region, another war after Iraq and Afghanistan will be a humanity disaster.

Over all, the Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons will risk the regional security. The policy will raise the international tension over the interest in Middle East, and will threat countries in the region who would likely seek for extra military protection or even independent nuclear weapon research. If the international society had done strict sanction to Iran, It would not give up the ambition easily. International groups should work out appropriate approaches to remove Iran's intentions. Policy recommendations are: the U.S. decision-makers emphasize a small circle out of the nuclear issue in favor of a direct dialogue and contact with Iran and commit to the introduction of the greater Middle East with Iran as stakeholder in the plan. Regional peace can only achieve when the area is allied without interfere of super power, such as nuclear weapons.


Dougherty J. E., Pfaltzgraff R. L. (2000). Contending Theories of International Relations: A Comprehensive Survey. Published by Longman

Goldhagen D. J. (2009). Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity, PublicAffairs. 1 edition p503

Lindsay, James M. Takeyh, Ray. After Iran Gets the Bomb, Foreign Affairs. Mar/Apr 2010, Vol. 89 Issue 2, p33-49

Perkovich G. (2003). Dealing With Iran's Nuclear Challenge. Published by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Ruppert M. C. (2004). Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. Published by New Society Publishers. p.22

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