Iran to cease nuclear program
Since Iran’s nuclear program became public in 2002 the UN has had a watchful eye on Iran and has engaged in many talks to better understand why Iran is running a nuclear program and to shut it down. Iran agreed to UN inspections in 2002 which was relatively inconclusive in discovering the intentions that Iran had for their nuclear testing and development. According to the BBC, the U.S. and Europe pressured Iran to close down nuclear facilities and in 2003 Iran agreed to suspend their nuclear program.
In 2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took over Presidency in Iran at which time their nuclear program resumed enrichment. In 2006 Iran was referred to the UN Governing Board for violating the treaty on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. The BBC reports that since 2006 there have been 6 resolutions of this treaty requiring that Iran cease uranium enrichment, and four of these resolutions have imposed ever stricter sanctions upon Iran in the global market. Even with such sanctions in place Iran still continues to grow its nuclear program, revealing in 2009 a new underground facility.
Iran has asserted over the years that their uranium enrichment program is for nuclear power, not for creating nuclear weapons. To be clear, Iran’s stance has been that they will continue to enrich uranium for “nuclear power and other peaceful purposes” and that they believe they are following the treaty guidelines. If this is true why does the rest of the world have such a problem with it? First, it is important to know that uranium enrichment for nuclear power is the same as enriching uranium for nuclear weapons. Secondly, and probably most telling, is that the sanctions that have been placed on Iran over the years have crushed their economy past what any one of us would consider a breaking point. Iran’s export has been crushed, especially since they can no longer export oil. In the last year the inflation rate in Iran increased 39%. For years now countries have refused to do business with Iran and the U.S. has imposed its own sanctions against Iran over and above the UN sanctions. The U.S. specifically has refused any imports at all from Iran. Both the U.S. and Europe have placed sanctions in place targeting companies and individuals suspected of aiding the Iranian nuclear program as well as their oil industry.
The U.S. and Europe have also tightened sanctions on the central bank of Iran which has made financial dealing difficult for even outside countries to deal with Iran, especially in the oil trade. With the ever tightening sanctions placed on Iran and the steady decline in Iranian economy their insistence on enriching uranium for “peaceful purposes” is rather suspect.
This past week the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has shocked the world by requesting to speak with the U.S. after a full 40 years! Yes, it has been 40 years since the U.S. and Iran have spoken. Although Obama and Rouhani have yet to speak in person, both are openly stating that there is an agreement in reach in regards to Iran’s nuclear program. Rouhani still says that Iran is enriching uranium for nuclear power and other peaceful purposes, which is to say that although this president is acting differently than any proceeding him but he certainly isn’t offering any differing perspective on Iran’s uranium enrichment. The next few weeks and months are sure to be interesting and we should all still keep a watchful eye on Iran.
What are your comments and belief about their intentions? We would like to hear your opinion below