Iran: nuclear program Saki Amagai and Kyory park
What’s the problem? • Iran has been concealing its major uranium enrichment program for many years. • AND Iran is not trying to stop its enrichment-related activities as required by the UN security council. • Westerners think Iran may have enough uranium to create nuclear bombs…?
Nuclear weapons • Weapons of mass destruction: explosive devices that derive its destructive force from nuclear reactions • Two nuclear bombs have been dropped in Nagasakiand Hiroshima, which killed approx. 200,000 people.
Why does Iran need nuclear energy?? • To serve a population that has doubled since the 1979 revolution • To guard against future war (they’ve already experienced war from 1980 to1988 with Iraq) • To become less dependent on other countries for arms and technology.
West vs Iran American and European officials Iranians They claim that they want to generate electricity without dipping into the oil supply it prefers to sell abroad . • They believe that Tehran is planning to build nuclear weapons. Responses -tougher sanctions by the United States and Europe against Iran’s oil exports -threats from Israel signaling increasing readiness to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities
Background: iran’s nuclear history #1 • In the 1960s, Iran’s first nuclear program began under the shah, but it got abandoned after the 1979 revolution. • In the mid-1990s, Iran restarted its nuclear program. • In 2002, an exile group obtained documents that revealed a secret program. • In 2003, Khatami agreed to stop uranium enrichment and allow IAEA inspection. • In August 2005, Iran announced that it would resume enrichment work. The atomic energy association called to suspend it until the problems with the secret program are resolved.
Background: iran’s nuclear history #2 • In August 2012, IAEA reported that Iran had finished installing three-quarters of nuclear centrifuges needed to complete a deep-underground site for the production of nuclear fuel. • experiments “relevant” to the production of nuclear weapon may have been conducted? • Iran had produced 280 kg of 19.75% enriched uranium by February 2013… ongoing at about 15 kg/month. This far exceeds Iran’s needs for the Tehran research reactor. About 260 kg of that material could be turned into 56 kg of weapons-grade uranium with input of only 1800 SWU. >> enough uranium to create nuclear weapons!!
Comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty (Ctbt) --1996 • CTBT prohibits all nuclear testing if it enters into force. All nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes, are banned.
Stake holders #1 • UN • Iran signed the treaty but is not enacting it properly in the state • Secretary General (Ban Ki-Moon) criticized: “It is distressing that this treaty has yet to enter force, any country opposed to signing or ratifying is simply failing to meet its responsibilities as a member of the international community.”
Stake Holders #2 • 2. Other countries • Iraq: Iran is an “existential threat” • The USA: the U.S. Department of Defnese reported in April 2012: “With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran may be technically capable of flight-testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015.” • 3. Iranian government and citizens • Iraq produced 203 billion kWh gross in 2009 from some 48 Gwe of plant., giving per capita consumption of about 2000 kWh/yr -> nuclear power is one of Iran’s main power resource.
Key decision makers • the UN General Assembly • -Basic Obligations: (Article I) • 1. Each State Party undertakes not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclearexplosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control. • 2. Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.
Peaceful means • In 2006, Ahmadinejad criticized countries that possess nuclear weapons and prevent Iran from developing its own “peaceful” nuclear technology. "If you think by pressuring the Iranian nation, you can change the situation in the world, you are very much mistaken. They are saying that Iran is seeking the atomic bomb. But they should know... we do not need a bomb. Rather, we will act thoughtfully and with logic.” --Ahmadinejad
Red lines Uk prime minister: david Cameron US president; barackobama "do what we must" to stop Tehran acquiring nuclear arms. a nuclear-armed Iran was "not a challenge that can be contained". • "We have to be clear this is a threat potentially much wider than just Israel and the region”. • He’s pressuring to stop Iran’s nuclear program, since it may harm UK security.
u.n. nuclear official seeks access to Iranian site • “I request Iran once again to provide access to the Parchin site without further delay… So there is a finite amount of time. Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable us to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. The agency therefore cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.We must not lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is to resolve all outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear program.” Yukiya Amano, Head of IAEA
Our Thoughts • Saki and Kyory: If Iran achieves in making a nuclear weapon, it’s going to create a huge threat to the rest of the world. No one wants to see the aftermath of a nuclear bomb being dropped ever again. But we must acknowledge that Iran needs it to protect itself from future attacks by Iraq and other countries. Iran can also gain more independence and prosper economically if it can create its own energy for domestic usages.
Discussion Question • Would you stop the enrichment of nuclear power in Iran? Consider from a Western and Iranian point of view. • The multiple treaties signed by Iran seem to be ineffective in ending the problems dealing with nuclear power. Do you think it would ever be solved? If so, how?
bibliography • Q and A: Iran nuclear issue, BBC. March 2012. Retrieve on March 3rd, 2013 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11709428 • Politics of Iran’s Nuclear Program, The United Institues of Peace. NA. Retrieved on March 3rd, 2013 from http://iranprimer.usip.org/resource/politics-irans-nuclear-program • Iran does not need nuclear weapons, says Ahmadinejad, BBC. November 2011. Retrieved on March 3rd, 2013 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15637539 • Iran’s Nuclear Program, The New York Times. March 4th, 2013. Retrieved on March 4th, 2013 from http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/nuclear_program/index.html