Iranian nuclear bomb would trigger arms race - Iran ex-official

Wed Dec 5, 2012 7:47am EST

Related Topics

* Ex-Iran negotiator argues Tehran not seeking nuclear bombs

* Atomic weapons would turn into "longer-term vulnerability"

* Says Iranian politicians don't want North Korea-style isolation

* West accuses Iran of seeking nuclear bomb capability

VIENNA, Dec 5 (Reuters) - A nuclear-armed Iran would cause a regional arms race and make Tehran more isolated and vulnerable, according to a former Iranian negotiator who argues that the Islamic state is not seeking to build nuclear bombs.

Israel and the United States suspect Iran is developing a nuclear arms capability and have not ruled out military action to prevent it from obtaining such weapons of mass destruction.

Iran says it is only seeking nuclear energy. But its refusal to suspend atomic activity which can have both civilian and military applications, and its lack of openness with the U.N. nuclear agency, have drawn tough Western punitive measures.

Former nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian, now a visiting scholar at Princeton University in the United States, said Iran recognizes that if it were to become a nuclear weapons state Russia and China would join the United States and "implement devastating sanctions that would paralyze the Iranian economy."

Moscow and Beijing have backed a series of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions against Iran since 2006. But they have criticised tougher unilateral steps by Washington and the European Union targeting Tehran's vital oil exports.

"Based on Iranian assessments, the possession of nuclear weapons would provide only a short-term regional advantage that would turn into a longer-term vulnerability," Mousavian wrote in the National Interest, a foreign policy journal.

"It would trigger a regional nuclear arms race, bringing Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia into the fold sooner or later," Mousavian, added.

Mousavian held his post before conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took over from his reformist predecessor Mohammad Khatami in 2005.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, tweeting Mousavian's article, said "these points of view by a very well informed person are worth noting". Sweden is a member of the 27-nation EU, which has ratcheted up the sanctions pressure on Tehran.

Most Iranian politicians believe that having nuclear weapons would be an obstacle for Tehran's access to technological cooperation with developed countries, Mousavian said in the article headlined "Ten Reasons Iran Doesn't Want the Bomb".

"They do not want to see Iran come under the kind of extreme international isolation levied against North Korea," he said.

The allegation that Iran could use nuclear weapons, if it acquired them, against the United States or Israel "makes no rational sense," Mousavian said.

"Any provocation by Iran against two states that possess thousands and hundreds of nuclear weapons respectively would result in Iran's total annihilation," Mousavian said.

Israel is widely believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal but neither confirms nor denies this under a "strategic ambiguity" policy to deter Arab and Iranian foes.

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Comments (6)
Dhirajkunar wrote:
All BS. There will be no isolation of Iran. Russia and China will in no way be against Iran. China is dependent on Iranian oil. It cannot afford to go against Iran. Russia is unpredictable. But may issue just statements which just slams Iran. But no action on the ground. People who get their salaries and income by American sources naturally will support America. They are the doomsday guys. There’s gonna be no doomsday scenario. IGNORE THEM.

Dec 05, 2012 8:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
Logical123 wrote:
Dhirajkunar: I see that you are regurgitating your usual illogical nonsense.

Iranians are not crazy. You think Iran will jeopardize its 3,000 year history for a stupid symbolic act against worthless Israel? What Mousavian says makes perfect sense. Iran does not need nukes and it cannot use them if it had any. All these claims about Iranian nukes are total lies.

Dec 05, 2012 11:01am EST  --  Report as abuse
Dhirajkunar wrote:
@ Logical

What I am pointing out is the sentence that is written in the article “Former nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian, now a visiting scholar at Princeton University in the United States, said Iran recognizes that if it were to become a nuclear weapons state Russia and China would join the United States and “implement devastating sanctions that would paralyze the Iranian economy.”

This is abs BS. Russia & China will never do that. People who get $$ forget about their own country and never be ashamed to change their DNA. I absolutely support your viewpoint. But let me add that the reason why Iran is not being attacked today is because the west knows Iran might actually have the “bombs”. By purchasing from next door Pakistan. Otherwise Iran would have been attacked much earlier. The west surrounds Iran militarily. Iran will get royally defeated. OR You tell me why Iran is not attacked. Are they waiting for Iran to actually test the “bombs”? In fact if Iran tests the “bombs”, the game is over. It could bring peace and stability. Iran will be a nuclear power as big as America. Having 10,000 “bombs” is not much different than having some 10 or 20.

Dec 05, 2012 1:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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