Iran and the nuclear issue

ONE issue that rattles and disturbs America and the western powers constantly is the nuclear threat posed by certain countries inimical to their interests. After the US dubbed Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the 'axis of evil' before it went to war in Iraq, it is the nuclear issue that keeps popping up again and again. Now, Iran has become America's new bugbear as it has continued to produce centrifuges, which can be used for peaceful purposes like generation of electricity.

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Published: Tue 13 Jul 2004, 10:29 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:23 AM

But America's contention is that Iran could be using centrifuges for producing bomb-grade uranium. The issue remains deadlocked as the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamed Reza Asefi has said that Iran is not afraid of threats regarding the 'possible referral of its nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council.' He said Iran was trying to sort out the problem through the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Board of Governors.

Apparently, the US and Israel want the case to be sent to the UN which could be persuaded to impose sanctions on Iran, the way they were imposed on Iraq after it went to war with Kuwait. The US and Israel are obviously afraid that Iran's nuclear energy could be used to build an 'Islamic bomb'. After the US-Iran relations soured following the taking of approximately 70 American hostages in Teheran in 1979, during former US president Jimmy Carter's reign, they never really went back to normal. America feels the Islamic republic will never give up its nuclear ambitions, as the control of clerics in Iran is still strong, despite some winds of reform blowing in the country. Therefore, its plea for a UN referral. But IAEA director Mohammed El Baradei has said that such a referral would only complicate matters, as Iran would feel it is being victimised while Israel gets away with a 'nuclear stockpile' because of its policy of 'strategic ambiguity' on the nuclear issue. Iran has, so far, been transparent and cooperative on the nuclear issue, but adopting a belligerent stance at this stage could harm its interests in the long run. No doubt, Iran has a case, and is justified in pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but it should not overstate its case, despite constant pinpricks as that would amount to a confrontationist stance. The world is undoubtedly unequal, and Iran should not needlessly provoke the world's superpower. Things can be sorted out peacefully as they must. Iran too, that way, can better its ties with the US.

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