Iran’s Nukes ‘R’ Us: Fait Accompli


AmirAshkan Pishroo
by AmirAshkan Pishroo

Iran's latest behaviors both domestically and internationally say it all when it comes to its nuclear program standoff with the United States and the international community: fait accompli.

Iran seems hell-bent on getting her hands on the ultimate weapon of choice, and it is highly unlikely to dispense with it. Neither negotiations nor sanctions will have any effect on its arrest and roll-back.

North Korea's route to nukes--play cat and mouse with the West--is Iran's nukes 'R' us. After all, the United States and the international community failed to stop North Korea and Pakistan from acquiring nuclear weapons capability, and how could they succeed this time around against "the land of the sophy," as Shakespeare refers to Iran, a country with unparalleled wealth and a 3,000-year-old civilization and one-time global superpower.

Iran has grand ambitions, wanting to become the indisputable regional power by replacing the United States as the region's security guarantor in the Persian Gulf states. Thus Iran's strategic priority has been to link the nuclear issue to the U.S. regional presence and to the future of Iraq and Afghanistan. By escalating the insurgency in Iraq, Iran has taken the upper hand in the pursue of its nuclear ambition, offering to assist the U.S. stabilization of Iraq in exchange for greater tolerance of Iran's nuclear program.

A nuclear-armed Iran would be better placed to reshape the regional order in a way that gives Iran a leading role in it, and a new status to seek hegemony in the wider Muslim world. It is clear that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons against Israel or the United States, though the Iranian leaders repeatedly claim the otherwise, but "the real target is the creation of Pax Persiana in the Persian Gulf.

President Bush is determined to dismantle Iran's nuclear ambition before he leaves office, but his administration policies remain inconsistent. Already three years ago, Senator Joseph R. Biden said that "the Bush Administration has vacillated between two very different approaches. At times it signaled support for regime change. At other times, it engaged in direct discussions with Tehran over Iraq and Afghanistan."

Of course, this mixed signals has been interpreted as the "dual-track policy" which offers limited dialogue with Iran while stepping up containment and backing the option of military strikes to take out Iranian nuclear facilities. Nonetheless, mixed signals cannot be taken seriously no matter what one calls them. They have no impact on Iran's strategic decision of becoming a nuclear-capable state, and more or less express the view that it is already too late to stop Iran from getting the bomb.

In 2003 Iran's nuclear program was stoppable on the ground to avoid any pretext for the United States to carry out a new Iraq in Iran. Th EU-3 initiative in the Tehran agreement gave Iran a historic opportunity to avoid making a stark choice between suspending enrichment-related activities altogether or risking a possible military confrontation with the United States.

Since then the scenario of engagement, which relies on diplomacy of convincing Iran by sanctions and/or incentives to give up its quest for a nuclear option has repeated itself one way or another, and it has failed.

In the meantime, the Europeans are getting real and preparing for what they see as the need to shift policy from engagement to containment of a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, learning to live with it. This is realism, they said. Washington has already started talking about how to live with a nuclear Iran. The Bush administration's decision to have talks with Iran is just a crash course in peaceful coexistence.


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"Pax Persiana" and "Shiite Crescent"

by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

I find both "Pax Persiana" and "Shiite Crescent" ("Shiite banana") are one part hype, one part reality.

A Shiite band of population stretching from the Arab Gulf states through Iran, southern Iraq, running through Sunni parts of Iraq and Syria, and extending into Lebanon.

The idea is a Sunni one, not a Shiite one, but it highlights the growth of an allegiance that is trans-border, trans-ethnic with Iran at its center.

"Shiite Crescent" is not a territorial nationalism.

But Pax Persiana is another matter: Iranian nationalism has strong state, sub-state, and supra-state components, and it won't be put back in a bottle.

Thanks, Sufi, for the interesting facts.


Re: Sare Karetoon Gozashtan (To: David ET)

by soufi on

Few facts have scaped:

1. Shah was the one who started the nuke power project in Iran in the 70s.

2. Shah paid the French $1B at that time (probably worth about  $3-4B now) to start a consortium with Iran as a main partner for  Uranium enrichment.

3. Now Freanch are saying "boro baba poole kee"

4. Americans supported Shah's nuke power project because he was their henchman. Americans don't like independent nations, therefore now are saying to Iranians, "suffer, we are not going to let you benefit or enjoy benefits of cheap nuke power which will also help your nation to advance!".

The rest is history.


Mullahs are after Pax Persiana?

by samsam1111 on

lol....It,s like Hitler looking to create Pax Jewishiana over Europe. Pax MullahArabicana is more like it.


IRI is a criminal enterprise

by sickofislamists (not verified) on

IRI is a criminal enterprise and with or without nuclear weapons will be dealth with. Containment is a code word for all kinds of stuff.

... new status to seek hegemony in the wider Muslim world. It is clear that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons against Israel or the United States, though the Iranian leaders repeatedly claim the otherwise, but "the real target is the creation of Pax Persiana in the Persian Gulf...

Delusional dreams of grandeur dear. It takes much more to a regional power than just being a bully or having nuclear weapons. The lust for power only shows how insecure this regime must be.

David ET

Sare Karetoon Gozashtan

by David ET on

Nuclear power or not, the #1 problem is the regime in power.

equating what is to the benefit of this regime with what is best for IRAN is the ultimate mistake.

This whole nuclear subject was a creation of IR to keep everyone busy, some one way (in support) and some another (against), -sare hame garme -while the $120 barrel oil money is being deposited to the pockets of the mullahs who care nothing about "Iran" except to the extent of protecting THEIR own power and pocket. They already have handed the country to the Arab culture.


The problem with US strategy was .....

by soufi on

The fundamental problem with US strategy in dealing with Iran, specailly, and ME in general was that for a very long time, US politicians whole-sale rendered USA foriegn policy and foriegn startegy planning to  blood suckers in Tel Aviv. After 9/11,  some in US are waking up to the fact that may be they are wrong in doirng so and the course must change. In fact the conspirecy theories about Israeli involvement in 9/11 (but openly denied by the US government) suggests that something in favor of Iran is in the works.  Lets hope for the best.


The first of many

by yinzer (not verified) on

This will be the first of many gulf states to acquire nuclear weapons. I do not think for a minute that many of Iran's neighbors in the gulf will feel comfortable with anything less that thier own hands on the button.

Is this progress? No, it's mostly a curse. The losers will be those living in cities that have nuclear weapons aimed at them.

Pakistan and India have managed that curse to date, we can only hope and pray that the gulf states can do the same.


logical points

by Abarmard on

I agree with this article and believe that the US should begin to recognize Iran as the player that she is in the region and treat her with respect. The Iranian politicians have shown maturity that has also helped them gain momentum while all the cards seemed to be on the US side.

US should recognize Iran as she is, simple as that. 

Mehdi Mazloom

It all looks good...........on the surface

by Mehdi Mazloom on

Again, the question is not whether Iran has the right to Nuk technology. It does. The real question is, can a regime of fundamentalists be trusted with such dangerous toys in their hand. Every rational person will tell you, NO. Nonetheless, there are many ways to contain the Mullahs in Iran from acquiring nukes.

The most effective of which would be to mobilize and fan out the overwhelming discontent with this regime, to throw the bums out of power.

One should remember that the West did not become such advance societies because they are stupid.They use their heads.

You may be right with your assesment. But on the other hand, who knows, maybe US & EU are just leading the Mullahs by their noses, feeding their need for respect and ego, until the right time, after which it will be too late for the Mullahs. Suffice to remember the  way USSR was dismatled. The formula was simple. force the commies to spend so much of their national budget on defense, until their economic simply had collapsed and rest we all know.

Iran is made up of myriad ethnic and cultural. Many of which are pretty discontent with the Mullahs. Now, how much, and how long will it take until these groups will start doing something tangible to free themselves. Not much.

US had just authorized $450M for covert operations in Iran. That ought to tell us something.