Iran's nuclear ambitions are likely driven by multiple factors, from security concerns to domestic polices. However, political competition within Iran, rather than Israel's nuclear capabilities, plays a more significant role in driving Iran's nuclear ambition.
The United States tried to convince Israel to join the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) when the treaty was first introduced and before it was widely believed that Israel had nuclear weapons. The NPT's objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and further the goal of universal disarmament.
Asked by Aaron Marks, from Staten Island, New York
Since the discovery of illicit Iranian nuclear facilities in 2002, the United States has sought to mobilize an international coalition to address the Iranian nuclear challenge through various coercions and incentives. UN member states agree that Iran is entitled to a civilian nuclear program for purposes of energy generation, but they require assurances that such a program is not going to be misused for military purposes.
World powers are now offering to ease sanctions on Iran if it agrees to halt its most sensitive nuclear activity. Expert Daryl Kimball urges a full diplomatic press to stop Iran from crossing the nuclear weapons line.
In the nuclear dispute between Iran and the United States, a grand bargain is unlikely given the level of mistrust between the two parties. What's more realistic is a modest compromise that breaches the wall of mistrust and potentially sets the stage for further-reaching arms control measures, says Ray Takeyh.
The IAEA Board released the Director General's quarterly report on progress of the NPT Safeguards Agreement with Iran, on November 16, 2012. The report provides an update on the nuclear situation in Iran since the last report of August 2012.
Micah Zenko says even though telling the United States that it should be more scared of Iran has failed so far, Israeli officials will continue to sound the alarm about a nuclear-armed Tehran, with the ultimate objective of changing America's threat perception.
Ray Takeyh argues, "The United States will make genuine progress with Iran only when moderate leaders assume greater control of the state. An interim accord may provide time, but that time must be used to broaden the contours of Iran's political system."
Global agreements aim to promote peaceful nuclear power while preventing the spread of materials, equipment, and technologies used to make nuclear weapons. CFR's research, meetings, interviews, backgrounders, and interactive content provide an essential source of analysis on these issues.
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