An evaluation of the Iranian nuclear program from a power transition perspective
Uzun, Ezgi (2011) An evaluation of the Iranian nuclear program from a power transition perspective. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1379279 (Table of Contents)
The Iranian nuclear issue erupted in 2002, when anti-governmental Iranians in exile disclosed two formerly unknown nuclear facilities in Natanz and Arak. Iran was a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. While there were other proliferation cases by states not party to the NPT, Iranian issue became the center of international concern. Despite incentives and sanctions by the international community, Iran did not suspend its nuclear program. Accordingly, the objective of this study is to explain why the international community is especially concerned about the Iranian nuclear program and why Iran is so insistent on its nuclear program. This study has adopted the power transition theory perspective to analyze the Iranian nuclear issue with reference to the change in Middle Eastern power balances in the post-9/11 period. The fall of Iraq in 2003 has created a power vacuum in the Middle East. Given its high GDP levels, big population, and oil-rich territory, Iran regards itself as the potential power to fill this power vacuum. The USA has established a status-quo in the region, which serves its regional interests. The rise of Iran might mean a challenge to US interests in the region. An analysis of domestic systems differences, dissatisfaction with the international norms, membership to international and regional organizations not dominated by the USA and missile build-up has shown that Iran is dissatisfied with the US led status-quo. The nuclear program serves as a tool for Iran to challenge the US-led status-quo and become a leading regional power.
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