Mousavian: Iran’s Options Include Building a Nuclear Weapon, or Withdrawing from the NPTPosted: July 10, 2013
This is a powerful new piece by Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator, that’s getting a lot of attention in nonproliferation circles. In it, he goes through five options that Iran has for dealing with the dispute with the West over its nuclear program. Two of these options are building a nuclear weapon, and withdrawing from the NPT, respectively. You really need to read the whole thing to see why the piece is so powerful and is being so widely talked about. It makes for a disturbing read.
I think the underlying message to the West is that Iran, quite reasonably, cannot be expected to abide by the current status quo forever. Like any sovereign state with a strong sense of national identity and pride, and significant resources, it will be highly resistant to coercion by outside forces into taking actions it doesn’t perceive to be in its national interest. And like any similarly situated state, it does have other options – some of which would be extremely unwelcome to the West and to Israel. Again, I think the underlying message here to the West is that the West needs to get serious about achieving a negotiated solution, before Iran decides it must take one of these other steps.
Just to note, I did recently publish a two-part treatment of the question of whether Iran can legally withdraw from the NPT, and what the legal implications of such a withdrawal would be. See the papers here and here.