Nuclear Irony Lost On The West
By Jamal Kanj
June 01, 2012 "Information
-- It is ironic that Western nations seeking to halt Iran's
nuclear ambitions are the same countries that sold nuclear
technology to it in the first place. Iran worked with the US and
Western nations since the 1950s to develop its knowledge in
In 1975, German conglomerates Kraftwerk Union and Siemens
started the construction on the now infamous Bushehr nuclear
plant. After completing more than 50 per cent of work and
following the Iranian revolution, the Germans abandoned the
project in an apparent dispute over payments with the new
In the mid-1990s, employing the same German-pressurized water
reactor technology, Iran contracted Russia to complete the work.
The nuclear facility eventually became operational almost 30
years later to a fanfare of international condemnation and
counties, especially nuclear powers, have little to fear from
Iran – even if it ever becomes a nuclear power. Even Israel,
which has been the most bellicose nation, cannot be
strategically threatened by a nuclear Iran.
Jamal Kanj is the
author of Children of Catastrophe: Journey from a
Palestinian Refugee Camp to America (Garnet Publishing, UK).
His articles can be read at
This this article
was first published at
Redress Information & Analysis
History has shown that military nuclear power has served more in
a deterrent than an offensive role. The only time a nuclear bomb
was used, it was against a non-nuclear power. Accordingly, in
the absence of a balance of power, only non-nuclear regional
entities could have genuine credible concerns from their nuclear
neighbours, be it Iran or Israel.
However, Israel is upset at the prospect of another nation
developing a deterrent to its nuclear hegemony. Hence, the
five-plus-one major powers seeking to reign in Iran's nuclear
programme – the five permanent members of the UN Security
Council and Germany – are helping to uphold Israel's absolute
monopoly on nuclear technology in the region.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials are accusing Iran of using talks
"to gain time". This is interesting since "buying time", or
negotiation for the sake of negotiation, is the same strategy
Israel has exploited for 20 years in marathon talks with the
Palestinians, while building more illegal settlements over the
land up for negotiation.
It is rather discrediting for the US when, following the latest
negotiations, instead of heading back to Washington the US
delegation flew directly to Tel Aviv to report to Israeli
leaders on their meetings in Baghdad.
The US negotiating team, headed by Under-Secretary for Political
Affairs Wendy Sherman and accompanied by National Security
Council officials working on Iran's nuclear programme, met the
Israeli defence minister and other senior officials for three
hours to brief them on their talks with Iran.
The Israeli defence minister threatened last week to attack
Iran, even if Tehran agreed to open up its nuclear facilities to
greater UN inspection. Obviously, Israel is not only interested
in curtailing Iran's nuclear ambitions, but also its access to
knowledge that might allow it to develop a nuclear programme in
The five-plus-one should be guided by reason, not by Israel's
irrational paranoia that foresees other nations' "potential"
development and knowledge as a "security" threat. If the West
continues to ignore Israel's proven possession of nuclear
weapons, public pressure will eventually force new democracies
in the region to develop the same deterrence capabilities.
Therefore, rather than focusing on Iran, the five-plus-one
should direct their efforts towards promoting a Middle East free
of all weapons of mass destruction, imaginary or real.
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