Settling the Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Call to Action for the International Community
In a dynamically changing and modern world, power is the one force that remains relatively unchanging. Nations continue to vie for dominance in the world to ascertain legitimacy in global affairs. This may take the form of expanding global markets, militarization, or developing a nuclear energy source. Iran has had a very unsettling history in which it has adapted to a number of different regimes. Since the 1950\'s, Iran has focused on establishing nuclear power, much to the dismay of the U.S. and the rest of the international community. Strained relations with the U.S., along with Iran\'s tenacious efforts to build on its nuclear power, has prolonged the road to negotiating a long-term nuclear deal. More collaboration within the international community and less U.S. influence on the issue could potentially catalyze a mutually beneficial resolution.
Iran has been enduring a long period of civil unrest as it has shifted through a variety of regimes and authoritarian rulers. During the 1920\'s, Reza Shah Pahlavi overthrew the ruling dynasty and established an authoritarian regime committed to modernizing, industrializing, and building infrastructure, which was met with great approval by Western nations such as the U.S. and Great Britain. Nonetheless, Iranian civilians still suffered through his repressive and corrupt dominion. This fueled the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and he replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini, another equally authoritative yet religious ruler. However, all hope that Iranians had for a reformed regime was lost: Khomeini oppressed Iranians even more and deteriorated relations with the U.S. in the process. Afterwards, presidential elections in 2005 led to the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Although he tried to govern democratically, strained relations with and frequent intervention by the U.S. has made his rule more authoritarian, making him a hardliner towards US hostility (Shah, 2011).
After the 1980\'s, Iran began to expend its time, labor, and money into its nuclear energy sources. Although it has a sufficient oil supply and gas reserves, they sought to "diversify their sources" (Shah, 2011). Russia helped lay the foundations of Iran\'s nuclear program and continues to provide assistance. In 1995, Russia and Iran formally signed an $800 million contract to finish establishing the plant in Bushehr for nuclear energy research and production ("Iran Nuclear Contract with Russia is Due"). Given Iran\'s turbulent history, the U.S. worried that the underlying purpose of the Bushehr plants was for the development of nuclear weapons instead of energy, but Iran dismissed this notion (Shah,2011). However, with growing suspicion, the American intelligence and defense officials reported with photographs that the heavy water and uranium plants are indicative of weapons production. Nonetheless, Russia continued to deny that the plants are for weapons production and that the photographs are not a sufficient basis of evidence (Sanger, 2002). Although Iran\'s long-standing interest in nuclear energy is debatable, it is equally controversial that American intelligence forces have been spying on these plants, especially after they have labeled Iran as the "Axis of Evil" in the War on Terror (Shah, 2011).
Nonetheless, the U.S. needs to protect its national and international interests. For example, Israel is one of the U.S.\'s allies and enemies with Iran, so its security plays a pivotal role in the conflict. Representatives from various national agencies present mixed standpoints on the Iranian nuclear program. Radzhab Safarov, director of the Center for Iranian Research in Moscow, states that there is no reason for the international community to worry about the program as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducts regular inspections and has not found anything suspicious. He states, "I think the U.S.\'s suspicions that Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons are not based on real facts, but on political attitudes." He stresses that the negotiation would have been carried out differently if Iran and the U.S. were on friendlier terms and interference in Iran\'s internal affairs is unacceptable. There is indeed some truth to the potential bias in pressuring their enemies to stop producing nuclear weapons. Not only does it pose a huge threat to national security, but it could potentially be used to target other countries in the Middle East in an attempt to assert dominance in the region. For example, Iran may be planning the assembly of nuclear weapons