Iran: The Nuclear Option

There is a dangerous convergence of views on Iran. Some in Washington believe that their problems in Iraq can only be solved by military action against Tehran

The World Today Updated 9 November 2020 Published 1 October 2004 4 minute READ

Professor Ali Ansari

Professor of Iranian History and Founding Director, Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews

Iran’s conservatives – now firmly in control – are beginning to think that being attacked by America might be just what they need to produce national unity.

The recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the development of Iran’s nuclear facilities, has done little to assuage suspicions among the country’s critics over its nuclear ambitions. Indeed, depending on the perspective, the agency has either vindicated Tehran’s position or raised further questions.

Thus for instance, the IAEA agreed that the traces of highly enriched uranium it found may indeed have been the result of contaminated equipment as the Iranians had claimed. On the other hand, it is quite clear that Iran is not prepared to acquiesce to European requests that it suspend all uranium enrichment.

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