Argumentative Essay Thesis Based on a Current Event
Can we really blame Iran? Recent events regarding continuing nuclear research of the said Middle Eastern state have sparked several comments from the general international community, most of which calling for the complete dismantlement of Iranian nuclear capabilities. In its latest progress, Iranian President Ahmadinejad has announced that his country can now produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale. A year ago, Iran announced that it had finally produced enriched uranium, a 3.5% level of enrichment which is enough to develop nuclear fuel but extremely insufficient for a nuclear bomb. (BBC)
These developments had been so alarming for the United States, the primary opposition to Iranian nuclearization that it has called for new efforts to be made in sanctioning Iran. In a press release, spokesman for the White House National Security Council Gordon Johndroe told reporters that “Iran continues to defy the international community and further isolate itself by expanding its nuclear programme, rather than suspending uranium enrichment,”. (CNN) The UN has passed two packages of weapons sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment programme. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Iran to follow U.N. resolutions, further stating that “I sincerely hope that, even at this time, when the Iranian government is undergoing Security Council sanctions, that they should engage in dialogue…. It is very important for any member country to fully comply with the Security Council resolution,” (BBC)
Amidst all the negative reactions and speculations of nuclear weaponization of the Iranian military, we have President Ahmadinejad stressing that Iran’s nuclear research development is meant for industrial purposes only. This issue leaves several questions to ponder on that this paper would seek to address. Does the international community have justifiable fears on the possibility of an Iranian nuclear threat? What are the reasons behind Iran’s decision to resort to the development of its potential for nuclear energy? And finally, should we really blame Iran for its nuclearization or is the act in fact a fundamental right of Iran as a state which should not be held by the international community against them.
Afraid of Iran?
A lot of people are usually afraid of things that they don’t understand. Therefore, a brief discussion of contemporary Iranian history might reveal whether or not nuclear power in the hands of Iran should be feared. During the First World War, Iran was drawn into the confrontation due to its strategic between Afghanistan and the warring Ottoman, Russian, and British Empires. In 1916 the fighting between Russian and Ottoman forces to the north of the country had spilled down into Persia. (Clawson 111) It is important to note that Iran was no aggressor during this war. In fact, it was constantly abused by the key players of the war who were fighting for its rich oil fields. The same can be said about its participation in the Second World War. Iran had always maintained a politically neutral stance and showed no appetite for conquest.
After the World Wars, Iranian politics stabilized gradually towards a constitutional monarchy. This monarchy was intent of nationalized economic policies which were contrary to the ideals held by the victors of World War II like the United States, who viewed semblances of communist ideology as grave evils which had to be purged. Thus, the American government sent CIA agents to spread dissent across the Iranian populace, initiating violence and anti-Islamic propaganda which drove its citizens to riot against the government under the false pretenses that they were responsible. (Clawson 125) These deceitful tactics culminated in a coup that ousted the government and strong-armed its successor to unfair western trade policies.
Amidst such abuses, Iran stayed its ground and lifted not a finger for vengeance. However, continued oppression led to another popular revolt in 1979. The succeeding government re-nationalized industry and started establishing Islamic traditions in culture and law. Western influences were banned and many of the pro-West migrated. (Clawson 137) This action may well be considered as an acknowledgement of Iranian abhorrence towards the west, but given the injustices done to their land and their people, it was only fitting that they reacted so. Furthermore, the sentiments of the Iranian public only translated to internal action. Never had Iran stooped as low as America and its CIA in their own efforts to forward ideals and policies.
Thus, it is clear to see that Iran’s continued distaste of the west does not translate to aggressive action in the advent of nuclearization. The years have seen Iran keep its honor and dignity which it holds of greater value than mere vengeance.
Necessities of nuclearization
With the continuing decline in the supply of exhaustible sources of fuel such as oil, the international community has a growing concern about how future demands could be addressed. The impending calamity of oil-shortage has not escaped the notice of even the second-largest reservoir of crude oil. In fact, Iran itself has resorted to petroleum rationing in an effort to conserve on its own consumption. This is because Iran can only satisfy about 60% of its soaring demand with locally produced petrol. The rest are imported at market prices of about 45 cents a liter, 500% more than how much it currently costs at local pumps. (The Economist) This necessity is what presses Iran forward in its nuclear energy agenda. Nuclear fuel is a much less exhaustible source of energy than crude oil. Thus, there is a pressing need for Iran to explore other alternatives to energy production such as uranium mines which also has a marked abundance in their country.
Secondly, there is also the issue of political independence. Iran is well aware of the political leverage given by the possession of a basic resource such as fuel. Russia for one is exercising its will based on that same power towards Ukraine and consequently, the European Union. Iran has held onto its political and ideological independence for so long and it no less intends to do so for all time, which necessitates security in terms of its fuel source. This is another reason why it intends to explore the possibilities of nuclear energy.
There is also the issue of environmental protection which is a growing international concern. Global efforts on reducing carbon emissions have proven less than sufficient to curb the greenhouse effect that threatens the very earth we live on. Nuclear energy is much cleaner alternative so long as proper procedures with regards to the disposal of nuclear waste are observed.
We argue that any country has the right to sustain itself, and that the pressing needs of Iran’s population demands it of their government to explore other sources of energy. On the same breath, we say that energy is a powerful political tool in international politics, and the survival of Iranian ideology depends on them having an independent energy source. It is the inviolable right of any country to maintain its identity through the exploration of all of its resources. It is also the right of every country to take steps in the preservation of the environment.
Should Iran have the right to continue its nuclear energy programme?
We say yes. On the first level of argumentation, we proved that Iran has stood firm on its honor and dignity throughout a history of abuses from its current political critics. This shows that Iranian dignity well undermines the western concept of greed and war-mongering and that Iran will not stoop to such low levels as its critics have. On the second level, we established the necessity of Iranian nuclearization of three sublevels, the first being for their internal need in the advent of declining supply in fossil fuels, the second being their right to maintaining an independent political and ideological identity and lastly being every nation’s right to contribute for the survival of the human race. Iranian nuclearization should not be feared; rather it must be celebrated and respected by the international community as one nation’s struggle for independence, identity, and survival.
“All hands to the pump” The Economist. 22 March 2007, 13:02 UTC. 20 Apr. 2007
“Iran ‘enters new nuclear phase’” BBC World 9 April 2007, 19:01 GMT. 20 Apr. 2007
“Iran seeks two more nuclear plants” CNN. 15 April 2007, 5:18 GMT. 20 Apr. 2007
Clawson, Patrick. Eternal Iran. Palgrave Macmillan. 2005.