Good for the Shah, Banned for the Mullahs: The West and Iran's Quest for Nuclear Power
Abstract:Iran's nuclear program has become a highly controversial issue in international politics since the August 2002 unveiling of the secretly built uranium enrichment facility in Natanz and the heavy-water production plant in Arak. American officials and experts assert that Iran has secret plans to use its nuclear capabilities to develop nuclear weapons. Iranian officials, however, deny such allegations and claim that they will use their capabilities exclusively for peaceful purposes. Notwithstanding the official rhetoric, some Iranian scholars, intellectuals, and even bureaucrats argue that Iran should seriously consider developing nuclear weapons given that they have the necessary skills and capabilities as well as the reasons to do so. The clerical leaders have supposedly not yet decided about weaponizing Iran's nuclear capability. However, the ever-increasing size of Iran's existing nuclear infrastructure, and the achievements of Iranian scientists, who claim to have developed indigenous capabilities, may very well elevate Iran to the status of a nuclear power, even a de facto nuclear-weapons state.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2006
The Middle East Institute has published The Middle East Journal quarterly since 1947. The Journal provides original and objective research and analysis, as well as source material, on the area from Morocco to Pakistan and including Central Asia. The Journal provides the background necessary for an understanding and appreciation of the region's political and economic development, cultural heritage, ethnic and religious diversity.
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