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