Iranian A bomb would trigger arms race

2012-12-05 22:19

Vienna - A nuclear-armed Iran would cause a regional arms race and make Tehran more isolated and vulnerable, according to a former Iranian negotiator who argues that the Islamic state is not seeking to build nuclear bombs.

Israel and the United States suspect Iran is developing a nuclear arms capability and have not ruled out military action to prevent it from obtaining such weapons of mass destruction.

Iran says it is only seeking nuclear energy. But its refusal to suspend atomic activity which can have both civilian and military applications, and its lack of openness with the UN nuclear agency, have drawn tough Western punitive measures.

Former nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian, now a visiting scholar at Princeton University in the United States, said Iran recognizes that if it were to become a nuclear weapons state Russia and China would join the United States and "implement devastating sanctions that would paralyse the Iranian economy."

Moscow and Beijing have backed a series of UN Security Council sanctions resolutions against Iran since 2006. But they have criticised tougher unilateral steps by Washington and the European Union targeting Tehran's vital oil exports.

"Based on Iranian assessments, the possession of nuclear weapons would provide only a short-term regional advantage that would turn into a longer-term vulnerability," Mousavian wrote in the National Interest, a foreign policy journal.

"It would trigger a regional nuclear arms race, bringing Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia into the fold sooner or later," Mousavian, added.

Mousavian held his post before conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took over from his reformist predecessor Mohammad Khatami in 2005.

Not rational

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, tweeting Mousavian's article, said "these points of view by a very well informed person are worth noting". Sweden is a member of the 27-nation EU, which has ratcheted up the sanctions pressure on Tehran.

Most Iranian politicians believe that having nuclear weapons would be an obstacle for Tehran's access to technological co-operation with developed countries, Mousavian said in the article headlined "Ten Reasons Iran Doesn't Want the Bomb".

"They do not want to see Iran come under the kind of extreme international isolation levied against North Korea," he said.

The allegation that Iran could use nuclear weapons, if it acquired them, against the United States or Israel "makes no rational sense," Mousavian said.

"Any provocation by Iran against two states that possess thousands and hundreds of nuclear weapons respectively would result in Iran's total annihilation," Mousavian said.

Israel is widely believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal but neither confirms nor denies this under a "strategic ambiguity" policy to deter Arab and Iranian foes.

  • diana.gill.18 - 2012-12-05 23:28

    When Israel and the US suspect someone of doing wrong in their eyes, everyone must know he does just right.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-06 06:08

      Everyone, or just the loony leftist rabble?

  • zach.vincent.37 - 2012-12-05 23:56

    Thank f£K Israel has Nukes, you have too when you live in close proximity to Arabs.

      steele.oyle - 2012-12-06 05:14

      The us and france possess a substantial nuclear arsenal, yet they dont reside next to arab nations. Youre delusional

      steele.oyle - 2012-12-06 05:17

      Ever been to dubai, abu dhabi, qatar or oman? Those arabs are so violent. Once again,youre delusional

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-06 06:11

      The USA and France are free democratic societies, which have substantial arab Muslim immigrant communities.

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-06 08:30

      Steel oyle, workers in those countries have their passports taken away thus effectively turning them into virtual slaves.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-06 05:36

    And nuclear weapons in the hands of Israel has made the area safe and stable over the past decades. No, Iran must not get nuclear capability, Israel must disarm. Let's get that highly volatile area of our planet a little safer please. No, Zach, you dont need nukes because you live in proximity to Arabs . You need to get out of their land and then nukes not required , surely. Go figure Zach

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-06 06:13

      Get out of their land? Israel is not their land. Israel is a free democratic nation which belongs to all its citizens.

      phil.losopher.3 - 2012-12-06 06:14

      If there was no such thing as religion, arabs and jews would live in harmony. Problem solved. Start with your own kids. And the US, France, Israel should not point fingers if they own nuclear weapons. All nations should hand their nuclear weapons over to the UN. Nuclear problem solved.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-06 05:40

    Israel urgently needs to solve their problems with their neighbours. It has to happen before the USA stops been the worlds superpower. Yes, their power empire will end, it is ending and then Israel WILL become very vulnerable. Arrogance will not solve the problem. Do it now because the USA will not always be there. Go be nice.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-06 07:09

    Larry, we talking about occupied land and you know it. Of course Israel belongs in the area and should be accepted by all but because of the huge balance in power and ,yes Larry, arrogance together with building settlements in areas not belonging to them, Israel is NOT endear wring themselves to the world. As the UN and Ll others except USA . By the way Larry, I'm on your side but not your views. Go figure

  • pages:
  • 1