Iran's Nuclear Ambitions An Emerging Crisis

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					   Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions:
      An Emerging Crisis?

Assoc. Prof. MUSTAFA KIBAROGLU
  International Relations Department
           Bilkent University
            Ankara - Turkey

           02 November 2006
              NATO School
        Oberammergau – Germany
Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
     Background
     The Puzzle
     Actors in the Puzzle
               Iran
               United States
               European Union
               Russia
               Israel
               IAEA
     An Emerging Crisis?
     Actors’ perspectives in the crisis
     Problems
     Prospects
 02 November 2006      Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   2
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Background
Iran is acquainted with nuclear technology in the
mid 1950s after the “atoms for peace” initiative

European countries like Germany and France, in
the first place, as well as the United States have
encouraged Iran in the 1960s and 70s to embark
upon a large scale nuclear technology transfer

With the influx of huge revenues due to oil exports
Iran set an ambitious goal of 20,000 MWe nuclear
energy capacity to be operational by mid 1990s

Islamic revolution in 1979 and the war with Iraq
in the 1980s halted the construction of facilities
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   3
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Background           (cont’d)

Iran and Russia signed an Agreement in 1995 for
cooperation in the nuclear field including the
construction of two 1,000 MWe LWR in Bushehr

30 Doctoral and Masters students are sent to
Russian institutes every year. To date, some 250
Iranians received their Ph.D. degrees in Nuclear
Engineering and Nuclear Physics from Russia

Iran developed (both through technology transfer
and indigenously) a complete nuclear fuel cycle
including uranium milling, conversion, enrichment
and reactor fuel production facilities as well as
plutonium reprocessing at laboratory scale
  02 November 2006         Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   4
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
The Puzzle
Iran is a State Party to the NPT and it has the right
to develop these capabilities, indigenously or by
way of transfers, provided that they are not
intended to be diverted from peaceful to military
purposes

Iran’s intentions are not clear due to the nature of
the policies followed by the clerics who administer
the country since the Islamic revolution

Yet, some Iranians claim to have “the capability to
detonate a nuclear device, but not the political
decision at the moment” and add by saying that
“[they] want to be admitted to the Nuclear Club”
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   5
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle
The US sees Iran’s capability as a threat and wants
Iran to permanently halt uranium enrichment

The EU agreed with the US on that, but disagreed
on the ways and means of dealing with Iran

Russia disagreed with the requests of both the US
and the EU, and supported Iran’s rights under the
NPT

Israel does not rule out military attack on facilities

The IAEA cannot verify allegations of Iran’s
clandestine work on nuclear weapons design
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   6
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: Iran
Iranian leaders say that “[they] will never agree
to a permanent cessation of enrichment” on the
grounds of their Article IV rights under the NPT

They also say “[they] will end cooperation with
the IAEA if sanctions are imposed on Iran”.
Implicit in their statements is that Iran may
withdraw from the NPT

Iran tries to mount pressure on the US by getting
the support of Muslim countries, Arab populations,
the Non-Aligned Movement countries, and also the
moderate Europeans who emphasize “legitimacy”

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   7
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: Iran              (cont’d)

Anti-Americanism and Anti-Israel feelings play
into the hands of Iran to get worldwide support

NAM countries and Islamic states don’t want Iran
to give in to the US pressures so as not to set a
bad precedent for “selective (mis)treatement”.

They also see Iran as a potential “nuclear supplier
state” who can sell them technologies that are
denied to them by the US and the Europeans

Iran signed the Additional Protocol and suspended
uranium enrichment to show its “good intentions”

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   8
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: USA
Iran constitutes a potential threat to US interests
in the Gulf region and a direct threat to Israel

The US pursues “stick only” policy toward Iran and
and does not discount possibility of military action

The US has limited economic and diplomatic
leverages and faces difficulties dealing with Iran

Iran is different than Iraq by all accounts, with its
four times bigger territory, powerful armed forces
and 70 million population who support the nuclear
(weapons) program, including those in opposition

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   9
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: EU
Europeans encouraged Iran to invest in nuclear
energy and provided education and training to
Iranian students and scientists in 1960s and 70s

They ceased cooperation with Iran in the 1980s
under the influence of the US, but resumed in the
second half of 1990s by signing trade contracts

There are deep divergences of views between the
US and the EU on the ways and means of dealing
with international security problems

EU countries prefer economic and diplomatic
incentives over coercive policies or use of force
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   10
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: Russia
Russia cut a deal with Iran when it needed hard
currency to keep up its nuclear industry even
though the “Nunn-Lugar” initiative poured billions
of US dollars to Russia, but also raised sensitivities

Russia’s cooperation in the context of “cooperative
threat reduction” initiatives is essential for the US,
and thus Russia cannot be pressurized beyond a
certain limit to stop its cooperation with Iran

With the nuclear deal, Russia gained leverage in
its relations with Iran to control its ambitions to
export revolution to Muslim Central Asia republics

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   11
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: Israel
Iran is seen by Israel as a credible threat to its
survival as a sovereign state in the territories
where it is now

It is essential for Israel that Iran does not acquire
nuclear weapons and their delivery capability

Carrying out a limited military strike to selected
Iranian facilities is among the options for Israel

Apparently, Israel has less concerns with the
consequences of a military strike than the US, and
the Israeli population is less divided on this issue

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   12
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: IAEA
Established in 1957 to promote peaceful uses of
nuclear energy among less developed countries

Its Statute did not perfectly envisage the task of
“timely detection of conversion of significant
quantities of fissile material from peaceful to
military purposes” as required by NPT later on

IAEA has no enforcement capability and must be
impartial and objective in its dealings with states

The composition of the Board of Governors
sometimes makes it difficult to reach consensus
decisions
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   13
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors in the Puzzle: IAEA                (cont’d)

IAEA is in a much better shape since the initiation
of “Program 93+2” which resulted in strengthened
safeguards document, namely Additional Portocol

IAEA Director General’s initiative in early 2003 to
set a deadline (Oct. 31, 2003) for Iran to sign the
Additional Protocol was an important step forward

The Agency does neither want to become leverage
in US policy to pressurize Iran, nor to serve Iran’s
purpose to come clean while much is still unknown

Both the US and Iran complain: Good sign, indeed

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   14
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
An Emerging Crisis?
Iran proposed “objective guarantees” including
“permament placement of IAEA inspectors and
tamper-proof surveillance machines in the nuclear
facilities” in return for which it requests “firm
guarantees” from the EU

Iran wants to avoid military strike to its facilities
so as not to lose prestige, and also not to miss
commercial opportunities as a potential supplier

Iran threatens with “using everything in [its]
capability to damage US interest from Afghanistan
to Lebanon, and from Gulf to the Mediterranean” if
attacked militarily by the US and/or Israel
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   15
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors’ perspectives in the crisis: USA
There are 125,000 US troops in Iraq who may be
targeted by Iran in retaliation to US military strike

Intelligence failures in Iraq increased scepticism
and decreased support among the Americans

US intelligence services may not have accurate
information about all of Iran’s nuclear facilities
some of which are built around population centers

Military strike to selected facilities may result in
insignificant damage to Iran’s nuclear program but
may cause significant collateral damage

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   16
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors’ perspectives in the crisis: EU
The EU lacks a full-fledged foreign and security
policy, and a viable security and defense identity

The European Constitutional Treaty has no clause
on “use of force”

The EU does not see Iran as a clear threat, as it
doesn’t believe Iran to have neither the capability
nor the intention to cause damage to its interests

The young and vibrant population of Iran and its
export of oil and gas to Europe, indeed, makes the
EU dependent on Iran, rather than vice versa

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   17
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors’ perspectives in the crisis: Russia
After the US military presence in Uzbekistan and
Georgia, Russia is concerned with further US
penetration into the Caucasus and Central Asia,
and thus builds partnership with Iran in the region

Russia may veto any resolution that may be
brought to the UNSC, which may suggest tough
sanctions to Iran due to its work on enrichment

Supporting Article IV rights of the members of the
NPT is deemed important for Russia, who wants
the Bushehr nuclear power plant to serve as a
showcase for its future nuclear exports

  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   18
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors’ perspectives in the crisis: Israel
Israel may not be convinced to believe that “if Iran
becomes a nuclear–weapons-capable state, there
will be parity between Israel and Iran that may
help defuse the tension in the region”

Iran’s nuclearization may trigger other countries
in the region, most of them being hostile to Israel

There can be no guarantee that Iran will never use
its nuclear weapons against Israel in the future

For Israel, the cost of “doing nothing” may turn
out to be far greater than carrying out a limited
military strike against Iran’s selected facilities
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   19
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Actors’ perspectives in the crisis: IAEA
It is essential and vital for the IAEA that Iran
accepts inspections in all nuclear facilities as well
as other sensitive sites and facilities that may be
potentially related to nuclear weapons production

If Iran creates frictions in its cooperation with the
Agency or withdraws from the NPT, there may be
no way to know about the status of the work done
in the facilities related to its nuclear program

The IAEA wouldn’t like Iran to become a “pariah
state” by closing its doors to the world


  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   20
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Problems
Unsucessful military strike may consolidate Iran’s
determination to develop nuclear weapons, may
mobilize support from around the world

Even a succesful strike may only retard for several
years. With its existing indigenous technological
and scientific capabilities, Iran may recover soon
and elevate itself to a “nuclear-weapons-capable
state” or a “de facto nuclear-weapons state” by
withdrawing from NPT

The divide between the US and the EU may be
deepened, and anti-Americanism that fuels, among
others, terrorist attacks against the US may rise
  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   21
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
Prospects
Iran’s proposal to provide “objective guarantees”
may serve as a basis that can be expanded with
inclusion of unfettered access and inspections at
any location as if Additional Protocol was in force

In return for economic incentives, such as
normalization of trade relations, as well as
improved diplomatic relations within the context
of a regional security arrangement, Iran may be
allowed to enrich uranium in a MNC only for
producing the amount of fuel necessary for its
nuclear reactors


  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   22
 Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: An Emerging Crisis?
The Way Out
All in all, the ultimate goal should be to establish a
nuclear-weapons-free zone, and eventually, a zone
free of all weapons of mass destruction in the
Middle East, no matter how unrealistic it may seem
under the present circumstances 




  02 November 2006   Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroglu   23
   Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions:
      An Emerging Crisis?

Assoc. Prof. MUSTAFA KIBAROGLU
  International Relations Department
           Bilkent University
            Ankara - Turkey

           02 November 2006
              NATO School
        Oberammergau – Germany

				
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