Tehran’s nuclear balancing actPosted: 18/09/2012
In an issue of the Security Times that coincided with the Cyber Security Summit in Bonn, Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme, examined Iran’s nuclear balancing act.
There is no diplomatic solution for Iran’s nuclear ambitions yet, and while Iran has been somewhat hampered by sanctions and attacks designed to derail its nuclear program, it continues to enrich uranium. As the IAEA reported, Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile grew to nearly 7,000kg. Iran is still months away from being able to make a weapons, but ‘the problem is that the redline separating nuclear-capable from nuclear-armed will become less clear as Iran’s enrichment program makes further advances,’ writes Fitzpatrick.
Diplomatic talks by the EU3+3 have failed. Differing perceptions of the threat by Israel and the US may have delayed more decisive plans, but in this atmosphere of uncertainty, an Israeli strike cannot be ruled out. For now, a military attack still seems like the worst option, as well as counterproductive – because it may only derail Iran’s progress by two to three years, and ultimately accelerate Iran’s ambitions for a weapon. But Iran should not push its luck. The US seems to be unwilling to join Israel in an attack now, but could very well change its position in the near future. If Western intelligence agencies begin to perceive more of a threat, they could strike – which could lead to war.