9-1: On the Iran Nuclear Crisis

As Americans we seem to view Iran as the problem in the recent nuclear negotiations, but Mousavian presents a very different view. He suggests that the United States is being unreasonable in its negotiations, and that Iranian’s just want to exercise their rights to nuclear power under the NPT.

At this point, Iran has built up a nuclear program way beyond what many thought was possible. The United States is continually trying to negotiate, but it is progressing towards war. But is Iran really to blame? Mousavian seems to think that the United States deserve more blame than most people give it. The negotiations seemed to suffer a bit setback when Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected Joe Biden’s offer to direct talks because he says that America is threatening Iran not negotiating. The positive is that the Supreme Leader does seem to be open to actual negotiations that take into account Iran’s interest and rights. Right now the P5+1 council has issued these demands: (These are coming directly form the article)

“1) Implement the so-called Additional Protocol, which enables further intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, including visits to military sites such as Parchin, 2) make the nuclear program more transparent, 3) give access to the IAEA beyond the NPT and its Additional Protocol to address concerns about possible military dimensions to the country’s nuclear activities, 4) limit uranium enrichment to 20 percent, and 5) convert to fuel rods or export all enriched uranium stockpiles that are not immediately used for domestic consumption.”

But these demands are not consistent with the NPT. There are no current sanctions on stockpiling enriched uranium and states that are members of the NPT can enrich to any level. Also, there are over 70 states that have not joined the Additional Protocol, so making them ratify seems unreasonable. Nevertheless, according to Mousavian, Iran is willing to agree to most of these terms. They just want their right to enrich uranium through the NPT recognized and the sanctions to be lifted. In addition, Khamenei had issued a fatwa in 2003 that banned all nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Mousavian says that the importance of this fatwa needs to be considered because the relationship between is very strong. Recently, Iran declared that they are ready to make this fatwa into a law that would bind the government.

After reading Mousavian’s articles, it seems that Iran is willing to negotiate and, at least to me, they don’t seem to be unreasonable. They are just asking to be allowed to exercise their right under NPT. And if the US wants to make a deal, it seems they are going to have to make some compromises. If Iran’s nuclear program is monitored closely, allowing them to make nuclear power seems like a reasonable compromise (considering under NPT they should be allowed to anyway).

But maybe Iran needs to be held to stricter standards because of they are viewed as a dangerous country. Maybe Mousavian is presenting a slightly biased view because of his history with Iran. What do you think? Is Mousavian correct in placing the blame on the United States? Is Mousavian correct in stating the Iran only wants nuclear power? Is the United States being reasonable in trying to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability considering they are legally allowed to enrich uranium under NPT? — Ren