Blog AnalysisIran

Iran will have the bomb. Change of situation in the Middle East?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly, September 27, 2012 (Credit: UN/J Carrier)

(BRUSSELS2) Iranian nuclear negotiators (E3+3) meet today at the European Diplomatic Service (EEAS). But the matter today seems to be at an impasse.

Sanctions that slow down at best…

Certainly the sanctions – European and American – are having their effect on Iran; evidenced by the fall of the Rial and the drop in oil exports. Certainly some targeted “strikes” (cyberattacks, “neutralization” of researchers, explosions of installations, etc.) have been carried out successfully. And if the threat of a more military strike, carried out by the Israelis, is regularly raised. However, we cannot say that all these measures have a radical effect. They do not seem, in fact, to succeed in stopping the Iranian desire to equip itself with a nuclear military tool. At best, they complicate it, slow it down… This is a feeling shared by several experts on the issue. And the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (AEIA), the Japanese Yukiya Amano, officially confirmed this on Tuesday during a stay in Paris. “ We are monitoring the activities of nuclear sites in Iran and see no effect”, he told the press. " For example, their production of 5 and 20% enriched uranium continues at a fairly constant pace. ».

Would a change in diet be a game-changer? ?

Westerners are betting on public anger which could lead to a regime overthrow. But assuming that happens, it is not certain that another regime will change the ancient Persian empire's march towards nuclear power. This seems a completely credible hypothesis today: Tehran will, one day or another, have a nuclear bomb. And that day could come in the next decade. This program was also started under the Shah's regime. We will then have to get used to this new situation which is, all in all, logical. The first “enemy” or rival for Iran is not often designated Israel but its Arab or Muslim neighbors. If we put ourselves in Iran's place, with on one side Pakistan equipped with the bomb, on the other Saudi Arabia, officially non-nuclear, but able to benefit from devices with the bomb, or even Israel who has this weapon (even if she has not officially declared it), we would be tempted to adopt the same position.

Iranian bomb will raise or lower tensions

Will this new situation worsen instability in the region? Or in some way, will we arrive at a balance of terror, like that which has prevailed in Europe? And this in fact to a regulation of tensions? What impact will this have on the non-proliferation treaty (to which Iran is a party, unlike Pakistan)? Will Iran leave the treaty? Will other countries which do not have the bomb today or at least officially acquire this weapon or display it publicly? How important will this “new” wave of “nuclearization” be? Will the notion of nuclear deterrence not therefore undergo “demonetization” since it will now be shared by more countries? This is where our analysis should perhaps also focus from now on.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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