in: Theory and Research in Social, Human and Administrative Sciences, Salih Batal,Ceylan Sülü Akgül, Editor, Serüven Yayınevi, İzmir, pp.275-294, 2022
Iran launched nuclear operations in 1957 as part of an agreement with
the United States during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah until 1979.
Germany and France began the first nuclear power plants in Iran in 1974.
These nuclear power plant building projects could not be finished following
the Islamic Revolution. In 1980, Iraq attacked the Islamic Republic of Iran,
sparking a war between the two nations. While the battle was still going on,
Iranian officials decided to restart nuclear programs. Iran and Russia inked
a pact in January 1995 to finish building the Bushehr reactors. As a result,
Russia, which possesses sophisticated nuclear technology, has supplied
significant assistance to Iran’s nuclear operations. Iran’s nuclear program
has become an international issue in 2002, when it was uncovered that it
neglected to notify some of its nuclear operations to the International Atomic
Energy Agency. Concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, the international
community applied sanctions to discourage Iran’s nuclear activity. Even
though sanctions resolutions affected Iran, it maintained its nuclear activities.
Iran began negotiations with the EU/3 (United Kingdom, France, and
Germany) nations in 2003, and the P5+1 (permanent members of the UN
Security Council plus Germany) became a party to the process in 2006.
The United States, on the other side, stressed the military intervention
option. Although this difficult process has taken a positive turn, significant
work toward a final settlement must be accomplished because the military
option against Iran has not been eliminated. This prospect poses a huge
threat to the Middle East’s security.
States worried about Iran’s nuclear program began imposing sanctions
to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its nuclear
program despite economic losses because of the sanction’s rulings. Dealing
with Iran’s nuclear program only for security purposes limits the scope of
this problem. A multidimensional approach is required to overcome the
problem. Therefore, this study will employ Scott Sagan’s “three model
approach”, which give a holistic view on countries’ aspirations to obtain
nuclear weapons. The Security Model, the Domestic Politics Model, and
the Norms Model are three of these approaches (Sagan, 1996: 55).
The “security model,” which contends that governments acquire
nuclear weapons for security reasons, will be beneficial in interpreting
Iran’s threat assessment. The “domestic politics model,” which focuses on
the primary domestic players who may have a say in the choice to build
nuclear weapons, will be used to assess the influence of Iran’s internal
political system on its nuclear program. The symbolic significance of
nuclear technology/weapons as interpreted by Iranians While doing so, the
“norms model” will be a helpful tool.