Iran’s stance on its nuclear program has perpetuated global tension, escalating animosity and risking armed conflict with both the United States and its neighboring enemy, Israel.
The international community has remained vigilant in their demand for Iran to stand down in its nuclear pursuits, as well as persisting that Tehran allow international inspectors to visit suspected uranium enrichment facilities. The escalated pressure on Iran to come clean, the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany used a UN nuclear watchdog governors’ meeting on Thursday to urge Tehran to grant prompt access to its Parching military facility. The joint call demonstrated unusual unity among the power on Iran before a planned revival of high-level talks. Among the power is Russia, who has remained alongside Iran on their bilateral trade agreement with Syria despite international condemnation, illustrating the transition of international ties on this nuclear issue. Along with this refinement cam an unexpected praise by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khanenei, who welcomed President Obama’s words of detente after rising militarism in Israel. The praise of ‘the great Satan’ is another uncommon development of this enduring climax of nuclear threats and demands.
“We heard two days ago that the US president said that they are not thinking about war with Iran. These words are good words and an exit from delusion.” – Ayatollah Ali Khmanei, Iran Supreme Leader
The duration of the heightened tension has come with sanctions by the West and more recently, military talks between Israel and the US. Despite US reluctance to vocalize military options, President Obama has voiced the evident sentiment that the US will back any Israeli countermeasure that is undertaken. The problem facing US remains however is the pro-military Israel, undercutting US values of diplomacy and detente. Israel’s military stance and vocalized threats are credible supported by a realist interpretation of their military operations in the past. Israel has unerringly countered every foreign attack against its security and has taken preemptive measures against such threats, as well. So saying, the nuclear threat of Iran is a very credible security dilemma for Israel, in which a preemptive strike is not unorthodox. Israel stands surrounded by religious, cultural and political enemies that have demonstrated their desire to destroy the nation several times. Iran’s President has repeatedly and forcefully stated personal desire to pursue the removal of the state of Israel through any means necessary. Nevertheless, the persevering vigilance of Israel is why Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has said that an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities is not inevitable. The Israeli prime minister has voiced his aggravation with Western leniency, criticizing western antics as loose condemnations limited to rhetoric and ineffective sanctions. The use of Israel’s military may be credible but also ineffective to the extent that Tehran’s fortified underground facilities will only be destroyed by US support. Evidently, the US and Israel have maintained a strong alliance which argues that if Iran is to continue its nuclear bolstering, Israel’s military option will be utilized with US military support, a flexible response that suggests that even though the western powers’ strategy is behind diplomacy and sanctions, military options are open.
“We’ve seen, in fact, that Iran backed off from its nuclear programme, its nuclear weapons programme, really only once in the 15, 16 years that I’ve been warning the world about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. And the only time they backed away was in 2003, when they thought there’d be a credible military threat against them. So in fact, the paradox is that if they actually believe that they’re going to face the military option, you probably won’t need the military option.” – Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel Prime Minister
The necessity of US assistance to effectively target and destroy Iran’s underground facilities has given the US more assertion on negotiations tables, as well as giving support to many hawks in the US who suggest military options should be undertaken more emphatically. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has stated that US military capabilities are more effective and more prepared for a strike against Iran. Panetta has clarified his stance, and that of the US, as not one of containment but rather a policy aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Only the US could conduct a serious campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities, lending the US power on negotiation tables with Israel over military decisiveness. Because of the US reluctance to resort to military force, as well as widespread beliefs that Israel is not prone to military action this early on, the International Institute for Strategic Studies has stated its belief that an Israeli attack against Iran is unlikely this year. Moreover, a preemptive Israeli strike could backfire because it is more likely to only accelerate the regime’s nuclear ambitions. The future of the situation may not rest entirely on military options and with Iran’s support for renewed nuclear talks, diplomacy may prove victorious for the a period of time, but a delay tactic by Iran to bamboozle the West for now is not beyond them.
“Why do you think Iran is doing all of this – developing these underground halls with thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium? They’re building ICBMs, intercontinental ballistic missiles, to carry what? Medical isotopes?” – Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
Despite Iran’s offer to revive nuclear talks after a year’s standstill, the delay has given rise to evidence that Iran is delaying international inspection to get ride of telltale evidence. Western diplomat briefed by a senior International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agent said Iran is likely delaying inspectors’ trip to Parchin so that it could be first cleared away of its research with high explosives tests to design a nuclear bomb. This process of sanitizing is vindicated by satellite imagery that gives light to recent apparent structural changes to the Parching complex. The nuclear complex has been the center of recent international tension because of the existence of a large containment chamber to conduct high explosives tests which serve as a strong indicator of possible weapon development. Once again, Iran has demonstrated its willingness to explore heightened means of military destruction, but its attempt to hide such research also verifies its reluctance to fight for such technology.
“I believe that it is important that diplomacy be given an opportunity, I believe it is possible to achieve a diplomatic solution. I believe that Israeli’s will wait to see what happens.” – Dianna Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
In retrospect, the nuclear standoff has represented the peak of Iranian-Western animosity in which Iran has undoubtedly discovered that its uranium enrichment will not be tolerated under any circumstance, forcing Tehran to fabricate medical intentions and their attempt to destroy all evidence of explosive testing. Iran has remained a shadowy figure in the Middle East, efficiently suppressing rounds of demonstration, interconnected with those of the Arab Spring. The influence of Iran among its neighbors, brewing further problems with the West and the Middle East, has been demonstrated repeatedly in the past, through its funding and army supply to Egypt and Syria against Israel and its recent support of Bashar al-Assad in Syria through troop deployment and arms. The president problem of Iran has remained a tolerable nuisance for the West, combated through economic and indirect fashions but the recent nuclear exploration has severely tested Western patience and will not be subdued through anything less than disarmament of its facilities and the entry of nuclear inspectors.