Iranian Nuclear Program Seth Prisament Alex Wilson
History of Iranian Nuclear Program • Nuclear program launched in 1950’s with the HELP of the U.S- • Atoms for peace- supplied equipment and information to schools, hospitals, and research institutions throughout the world. • This was when there was a US friendly dictator of Iran • The US wanted Iran to become a nuclear country • In 1979, there was the Iranian revolution • The Shah was thrown out of power and replaced by a much more religious, anti- Western ruler; Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini • US cut off relationship with Iran, which included help with Nuclear program • Iran’s nuclear reactors shut down because of no enriched Uranium
History of Iranian Nuclear Program • In 1981, Iran's nuclear program started back up again with the help of Argentina. (Supplied needed enriched Uranium) • From the 1990’s, Russia has been helping Iran with it’s nuclear program. • The US has continually tried to stop developed countries from aiding Iran’s nuclear program
The issue • Iran’s nuclear program is one of the most important issues confronting the international community today. • The Iranian government says that it has a right to have PEACEFUL nuclear capabilities.... Many other countries do.
BUT • The US is worried, based on evidence, that Iran’s nuclear program will not be used for peaceful means, but for nuclear weapons. • In other words, Iran saying that its nuclear program is peaceful is just a cover for their real goal which is to make weapons of mass destruction. • Iran is located on top of one of the biggest oil reserves in the world…. (hmmm)
The main questions • What sort of nuclear program Iran gets to have? (Peaceful or not?) • Should they have any at all? • What happens if it defies the world's demands? • Military action or diplomacy… or both?? • Is there a red line? ________
Options with Iran • Bomb Iranian nuclear sites • Not really- would not set Iran far back in its program, and would probably enrage the government.
Options with Iran • Full-on invasion to topple the government. • Nope-Not feasible after Iraq
Options with Iran • Force Iran to surrender and simply give up its nuclear program. • Not quite- Very unlikely- sanctions have not been very effective
Options with Iran • Negotiating a deal directly with Tehran • Maybe…Have been cheated before by Iran
Currently • Obama has recently made a deal with Iran that would set stringent limits on Iran's nuclear activities; in exchange, the country will get about $6 billion in unfrozen foreign assets and relief from sanctions. • Critics say that nothing short of a complete halt of their nuclear program should be excepted. • Others say this type of diplomacy is the only option.
Interest groups: AIPAC • American Israeli Public Affairs Committee • Make sure Israel is safe by securing the essential support from the US • AIPAC has similar ideas towards Iran’s nuclear program as Israel does, therefore no nuclear capabilities for Iran. • Iranian officials have continually said provocative comments about Israel such as calling it a “cancer that needs to be removed” • Iran is known to sponsor terrorists groups such as Hezbollah. • Iran could easily give their nuclear bombs to these terrorists groups who could then use them against Israel. • AIPAC is pushing congress to not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
Political parties: Democrats • Both Democrats and Republicans more or less agree on a non- nuclear Iran; or at least, not have nuclear weapons. • However, the Obama administration has done everything it can to avoid military action against Iran • They have put in tough sanctions in the past, however, with the new deal, the administration is going to let up on some. • Diplomacy has been their main tool. • While Obama has repeatedly said that military action is an option, he is clearly reluctant to use it.
Political parties: Republicans • The republican party has made it clear it stands behind a military strike • Many of the parties leaders have said that a red line needs to be drawn, and if Iran crossed that line, its time for military action. • Party leaders have said that they want no deal short of a complete dismantlement of the nuclear plants in Iran.