The Iranian Nuclear Impasse: The Protracted Imbroglio

Published date01 December 2018
Date01 December 2018
Subject MatterArticles
Bidhannagar College, Kolkata, India.
Corresponding author:
Deeplekha Sengupta Dasgupta, Bidhannagar College, Kolkata, West Bengal 700064, India.
The Iranian Nuclear
Impasse: The
Protracted Imbroglio
Deeplekha Sengupta Dasgupta1
The Iranian nuclear deadlock has been one of the most contentious
issues confronting the international community till date. The following
article seeks to trace the tussle between the evolution of the Iranian
nuclear aspirations and the politics of non-proliferation. It is divided
into four main sections. The first section attempts to give a brief
description of the problematic of the discriminatory politics of nuclear
non-proliferation regime that Iran has been put through by the West.
Iran’s nuclear aspirations can be traced back to the 1950s. Its strategic
relations with the USA and leading European nations brought Iran
significant scientific and technological assistance to set up a nuclear
infrastructure. The second segment of the article delves into Iran’s
nuclear activities during the Shah regime and the Western response.
The post-Shah years brought about notable changes in the Western
approach to Iran’s nuclear pursuit, the denial of nuclear technology
to Iran being the predominant stand of the West especially the USA.
The third section addresses the changes in Iran’s stand on the nuclear
issue and the consequent changes in its relations with the West especially
the USA. The last section of the article, that is, the concluding part
attempts a dispassionate take on the rationale behind its nuclear
aspirations, the veracity of its arguments and the future of the Iranian
nuclear impasse.
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
22(2) 148–166
2018 Jadavpur University
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0973598418782075
Dasgupta 149
Non-proliferation, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, international
atomic energy agency, joint comprehensive plan of action, P5+1
The prolonged imbroglio over Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions have
been one of the most complex issues confronting international relations
in recent times. As the results of the US elections were out, the world
waited eagerly to see what stand Donald Trump, the new US president,
takes on the much debated nuclear deal with Iran. In a speech, in March,
2017, to a Conference of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee
in Washington Trump clearly said that his number one priority is to
dismantle the ‘disastrous’ deal with Iran. The predilections of President
Donald Trump for renegotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
Action have been very much evident in his election campaigns. In fact,
Trump’s provocative statements have left Tehran rather disgruntled
about the sudden change in the US stand on the Iranian nuclear deal.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of
Iran said Iran will ‘act appropriately’ if US President Donald Trump
‘tear up’ the deal (Tehran Times 2017).1 The then US secretary of
state Rex Tillerson termed the Iran nuclear deal a failure and said that
an unrestrained Iran could become another North Korea. He categori-
cally asserted that Iran’s nuclear ambitions pose a serious threat to
the international community. Tillerson even accused Iran of fomenting
trouble in the region including the turmoil in Syria, undermining US
interests in several countries, endorsing attacks against Israel and
sponsoring cyber and terror attacks across the world (The Economic
Times 2017).
The entire issue revolves mainly around the lack of trust between Iran
and the West especially the USA with regard to the nature of Iran’s
nuclear program. While Iran has repeatedly claimed its nuclear program
to be entirely peaceful, the USA and the West have been clamoring about
1 US President Donald Trump claimed that Iran was formally ‘on notice’ following its
recent missile test. ‘Iran has been formally put on notice for f‌i ring a ballistic missile.
Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the US made with them!’ Trump tweeted.
Details available at m.timesof‌i‌i ring-

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