Kicking the Hornet’s NestPosted: July 8, 2013 Filed under: Nuclear 2 Comments
A colleague sent me a link to this piece today. It’s entitled “Kicking the Hornet’s Nest: Iran’s Nuclear Ambivalence and the West’s Counterproductive Nonproliferation Policies,” and was written by Patrick Disney and published in the Nonproliferation Review last July. I found myself very impressed with the persuasiveness of the author’s explication and application of the “concept of nuclear ambivalence” to the case of Iran’s nuclear program. I think that the way this concept is explained and applied to the Iran case is parsimonious, valid and highly explanatory. And I agree with the author’s prescriptions for how the issue should be dealt with going forward. I recommend the piece highly.
Hmm, yes, an interesting read.
Certainly the idea that progress can only be made via “engagement on all levels in pursuit of issues of mutual concern” is light-years advanced from the Mark Hibbs’ish view that progress will come about when:
(a) Iran does as it is told
(b) the “international community” can develop “confidence” that Iran… knows to do as it is told.
Or, put another way: Patrick Disney is interested in a mutually-acceptable outcome, whereas Mark Hibbs appears to believe that progress requires Iran to bend the knee to the west (a.k.a. the “int’l community”).
I know which one makes more sense to me.
Iran’s nuclear weapons “capacity” is no different from the same capacity of several other nations that have a nuclear program. According to IAEA head ElBaradei and Greenpeace, currently there are about 40 nations that could make a bomb quickly (“breakout”) and more can do so if given more time. This is simply becase the civilian nuclear technology is also applicable to military uses. So, really, Iranian “nuclear ambivalence” is hardly unique and equally applies to at least 1 out of 4 countries on the planet.