Scholars and historians w h o analyze recent developm ents in Iranian foreign

policy, and especially Iran's nuclear program , em phasize Iran's resources and history as

a powerful em pire. Themes of pride, privilege, and international standing can explain

Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The privilege and benefits from civilian nuclear p ow er

can be used to strengthen Iran's standing as a g reat civilization, contribute to political

regime resilience, and influence regional and international allies. Further, civilian

nuclear pow er could be used by Iran to level and ta m e Europe and th e U.S., m aking th e

acquisition th e re o f rather lucrative.10 Iran's nuclear program has its origins in th e 1970's

due to Iran's strategic position during th e Cold W ar. Initially signing th e A g reem en t fo r

Cooperation Concerning Civil Uses o f Atom s in 195 7 w ith th e U.S., Iran received pool-

type reactors and fuel from th e U.S. in 1967, w hile Iranian scientists w ere train ed at

prestigious institutions such as th e Massachusetts Institute o f Technology.11 Throughout

9 A German-Persian agreem ent o f friendship, trade, and shipm ent was established in 1873, w ith an article outlining foreign policy th a t states G erm any w ould support Persia in th e case of potential w a r betw een Persia and another power.

10 Ruth Santini, "European Union Discourses and Practices on Iranian Nuclear Program m e," European

Security 13, no. 3 (2010): 471.

11 Mustafa Kibaroglu, "Good fo r the Shah, Banned fo r the Mullahs: The W est and Iran's Quest fo r Nuclear Power," M iddle East Journal 60, no. 2 (2003).

th e Cold W ar, th e U.S. adm inistration visited th e Shah w h o eventually announced plans

to develop nuclear pow er capability in 1 97 4 and initiated contracts to build w a te r

reactors w ith France. By 1975, m utual investm ent contracts betw een Iran and th e U.S.

fo r uranium enrichm ent facilities in th e U.S. and spent fu el reprocessing facilities in Iran

w ere set into action, along w ith an ag reem en t w ith G erm any to establish six nuclear

reactors. Germ any began construction on th e Busher reactor in 1 9 7 6 .12

The coup d'etat, organized by th e Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and th e

British Secret Intelligence Service (M I6 ), which o v e rth re w th en prim e m inister o f Iran

M oham ed Mossadegh in 1953, along w ith th e events im m ediately before and during the

Iranian revolution o f 1979, lead to th e beginning o f th e continuously strained and often

non-existent relationship betw een th e U.S and Iran. The U.S. stopped cooperating w ith

Iran in regards to th e ir nuclear program and urged o th e r countries to do th e same.

M eanw h ile, th e Islamic Republic began an overall rejection o f all things "W estern " and

eventually reduced oil exports and cancelled all nuclear projects. Ayatollah Khomeini's

views tow ards nuclear technology and th e effects on Iran's dependence on th e W est

contributed to th e interruption of th e program , b u t also his ethical opposition to th e

concept and idea o f W M D s .13 The energy crisis and th e Iran-lraq w ar caused Iranian

clerics to change th e ir stance to w ard th e nuclear program and eventually tu rn ed to

'n ew ' suppliers which included Pakistan, A rgentina, Spain, China, and th e Soviet Union.

In 1987, Iran and Pakistan signed an ag reem en t fo r nuclear cooperation and opened the

12 An agreem ent to exchange nuclear technology ad cooperate in nuclear safety b etw een th e U.S. and Iran was signed in 1977, as well as th e signing o f th e U.S.-lran Nuclear Energy Agreem ent in 1978.

Esfahan Nuclear Research Center. By 2002, th e U.S. revealed secret nuclear projects

adm inistered by Iran, which included a uranium en rich m en t facility in Natanz and a

w a te r production facility in Arak.14

Upon this discovery, th e U.S. reacted by declaring a violation o f Article II o f th e

NPT, follow ed by Iran's denial and invoking o f Article IV. In 2003, th e International

Atom ic Energy Agency (IAEA) called on Iran to sign th e Additional Protocol, w hich set

into m otion visits and diplom atic efforts by G erm any, France, and th e United Kingdom

w ho visited Tehran and urged Iran to sign and comply. By 2005, Iran inform ed th e IAEA

of th e decision to resume uranium conversion in Esfahan, halting negotiation b e tw e e n

Iran and th e EU-3. An im p ortant aspect to note is th a t in 2 00 5 , Suprem e Leader

Ayatollah Khamenei, as Khomeini before him, rejected th e idea of nuclear w eapons, and

pronounced a "fatw a against th e developm ent, production, stockpiling, and use o f

nuclear w eapons".15 The literatu re surrounding Iran's nuclear program, fro m both

theoretical as well as strategic analyses, d iffer in term s o f Iran's right to establish a

nuclear program. W hile some authors argue th a t Iran has th e right to m aintain a nuclear

program fo r civilian purposes outlined under th e NPT, w ith th e added obligation to

claim these activities to th e IAEA, o th e r scholars w arn against the devastating balancing

effects a potential nuclear Iran w ould have on th e M id d le East.15

14 Kibaroglu, "Good fo r the Shah, Banned fo r th e Mullahs: The W est and Iran's Quest fo r Nuclear Power." 15 "Good fo r th e Shah, Banned fo r the Mullahs: The W est and Iran's Quest for Nuclear Pow er," 472. 16 Tom Sauer, "Struggling on th e W orld Scene: An over-Am bitious Eu Versus a C om m itted Iran," European

In document Ritualized Rhetoric and Historical Memory in German Foreign and Security Policy (Page 148-151)