America’s Role in Helping Iran Develop the Nuclear Program

Yes, a U.S. once aided Tehran’s municipal chief program, a sign that even pacific chief team-work can have unintended consequences.

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Iran’s chief module poses a hazard to many nations–particularly
Israel and a United States. Yet, it is infrequently lost that
Washington was an early believer of Tehran’s chief ambitions.

The United States supposing pacific chief assistance to Iran from
1957 to 1979, when a dual states were allies. Washington exported a Tehran Research Reactor (TRR),
enriched uranium to fuel it, and “hot cells,” that can be used to
produce plutonium–a vicious part for creation chief weapons. All
of this assist was supposing for municipal uses, though it finished adult indirectly
augmenting Iran’s chief weapons program. For example, from 1988 to
1992 Iran conducted growth plutonium reprocessing experiments regulating fuel
pellets irradiated in a TRR.

The Iranian believe exposes a problem famous as a dual-use
dilemma: since chief record has both pacific and military
applications, chief appetite assist provides a intensity substructure for a
bomb program.

However, this risk has not deterred a United States from
providing chief appetite assistance to many countries. Today, for
instance, Washington is in a midst of negotiating agreements with Jordan and Vietnam that would assent a pity of chief technology, materials, and know-how.

Deals such as these could be a recipe for a serve widespread of chief weapons.

In a new book,
we try a attribute between pacific chief assistance and
nuclear proliferation. Based on an research of tellurian chief commerce
from 1945 to 2000, we uncover that states are most some-more expected to covet (and
successfully build) chief weapons when they amass atomic
assistance–particularly if they believe an general predicament after
receiving aid.

Iran is only one of several proliferators that benefited from nuclear
appetite assistance. India conducted a chief exam in 1974 using
plutonium that was constructed in a Canadian-supplied municipal reactor.
Iraq substantially dictated to use a French-supplied municipal trickery known
as “Osiraq” for troops functions before it was inebriated by Israel in
1981. And scientists from North Korea and South Africa received
training–from a Soviet Union and a United States, respectively–under
a auspices of municipal chief team-work that ultimately
facilitated chief proliferation.

The general village has instituted a accumulation of
measures–including International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguard–
to extent a proliferation intensity of pacific chief aid. Yet, as
Iran, Iraq, Libya, South Korea, and others have shown, encouraged states
can by-pass existent manners and regulations with relations ease.

Why, then, do countries yield pacific chief assistance?
Suppliers typically offer assist to “buy” team-work from a recipient
country. For example, a United States assisted Iran’s chief program
to seaside adult a troops fondness with Tehran and to change Iranian
policies on oil pricing. Nuclear exporters wish that they can reap the
political and mercantile advantages of chief assistance without
contributing to chief proliferation. Yet, in a prolonged run, their
gambles mostly backfire.

The United States and other suppliers should correct their nuclear
trade policies to forestall story from repeating itself. Requiring
customers to refrain from building inland uranium improvement or
plutonium reprocessing plants (these comforts can furnish bomb-grade
materials) after accumulating applicable believe by peaceful
nuclear assistance would be a quite cultivatable policy. Washington
has so distant expressed small enthusiasm
about requesting this process opposite a board. However, quick movement is
needed to assistance forestall destiny crises like a one that is ongoing in
Iran.

This essay creatively seemed during CFR.org, an Atlantic partner site.

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