Iran Nuclear Program
For those who have followed the development of the plans for a nuclear Iran, it is clear that these goals began way sooner than many people may think. In fact as early as 1970, under the regime of The Shah and incredibly enough with US help, there were plans to have built 23 nuclear plant by the year 2000. to provide little more background on the previous statement, we should remember that back in the 70's Iran had close ties to the west in general and the U.S was not an exception. Plans to build these nuclear facilities had been presented by companies such as Siemens AG and AEG and even a contract for $4 to $6 billion had been signed by 1975. The first plant was to be completed in 1981. Plans were interrupted, of course, by the 1979 Islamic Revolution where the Shah was overthrown. Immediately, relations with the west took a serious turn to the worse, when Iranian students took the U.S embassy and everybody in it as hostages for more than a year.
Iran nuclear expectations were then further than ever before, as the west withdrew from pursuing any nuclear projects specially due to the pressure caused by the U.S sanctions. Since 1990, several countries have one way or another worked with Iran in terms of nuclear power projects, Russia, France, and others. Even though Iran nuclear plans have always stated that their interest in developing nuclear facilities is not related to producing bombs, the international community has remained skeptic. Nuclear Iran has been visited frequently by the IAEA and has reported legal activities going on on all the plants that they have visited so far. Countries like Argentina and China have reported the influence of the U.S in order to stop them from any nuclear cooperation with the Iranians.
In 2002, the existence of uranium enriching facilities were confirmed by an Iranian dissident. A year later, The United Kingdom, Germany and France exercised they diplomatic influences and got to some very important agreements with Iran in terms of allowing the IAEA to follow their Iran nuclear developments closely. However, latter reports by the IAEA have proven that nuclear Iran has failed repeatedly in following the agreements signed.
The situation has unfortunately not gotten any better in the present time, and several instances of nuclear Iran violating security agreements have been made public specially by the United States. Nuclear Iran has consistently failed to report their activities, facilities, acquisition, materials and equipment that they have obtained through these years. The role of the U.S has been that of creating pressure around the whole subject and reinforcing the sanctions in place for some years already. Iranian officials and even their president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have confirmed that they have enriched uranium to 20% and that they have now the technology to enrich it to 100% if they needed to. There is no limit to enrich uranium, an Iranian official stated, and followed by clarifying that the only reason they have not further enriched uranium is because they do not need to do so yet. The implications of nuclear proliferation in the middle east are many.