CAPITOL HILL CONNECTION
Iran’s Ambition for Nuclear Power
A second Cold War looms, one fraught with a complexity of concerns.
By Elizabeth M. Cochran, ROA Legislative Assistant
change pleases Russia, which considers East European coun-
ews about Iran’s nuclear program emerged in 2002 tries its satellite states and felt threatened by the placement
with evidence of a uranium enrichment facility and a of such weaponry near its borders.
heavy water factory. In 2006, Hassan Rowhani—chief There are multiple obstacles facing America and the
negotiator over Iran’s nuclear program with the EU-3 group, global community regarding Iran’s nuclear ambition.
comprising Britain, France, and Germany—boasted in a America’s greatest ally in the Middle East, Pakistan, is un-
closed meeting that during the EU-3 talks Iran completed the likely to cooperate because it maintains ties to Iran, albeit con-
installation equipment at the Isfahan facility for conversion of tentious at times. A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear
yellowcake, a key stage in the nuclear weaponization process. bomb who was arrested for sharing nuclear secrets with Iran,
Since 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency North Korea, and Libya, and was recently released from house
(IAEA) has revealed two decades’ worth of undeclared nu- arrest, stated in an interview: “If Iran succeeds in acquiring
clear activity in Iran. Its August 2009 report concluded that nuclear technology, we will be a strong bloc in the region.” He
Iran continues to stockpile low enriched uranium, install added, “Iran’s nuclear capability will neutralize Israel’s power.”
centrifuges, and expand its heavy water facility. Then in Sep- Another concern is Iran’s involvement in Central and
tember, an IAEA annex report, “Possible Military Dimen- South America, including the robust support of Venezuela’s
sion of Iran’s Nuclear Program,” was leaked to various media President Hugo Chavez. According to a Space War article,
outlets, which say the document expresses concerns that Iran President Chavez stated: “Iran has the right to develop
has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is developing a nuclear energy as do France and many other countries, and
system capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Also in Sep- why not Venezuela?” In a prior statement, he had said that
tember, Iran was pressured into admitting it had an unde- Venezuela is working with Iran on a plan for a nuclear vil-
clared uranium enrichment facility. lage. President Chavez visited Iran’s President Mahmoud
While Iran seeks to expand its nuclear development, Pres- Ahmadinejad in September.
ident Barack Obama in his speech in Prague earlier this year Distinctively different from nuclear weapons issues dur-
expressed a new policy in which the United States will seek ing the Cold War era, the current dilemma is exacerbated
to reduce the role of nuclear weapons. The president wants by Ira