Iran Keywords:, nuclear problem, UN sanctions
A. G. ARBATOV
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The situation around Iran evokes disturbing historical analogies, such as the run-up to 1914. In connection with this analogy, Iranian President Ahmadinejad is now acting as the "Gavrila of Principle". And while no one wants war, the likelihood of it increases with each passing month, as events get out of the control of the great Powers.
Of course, unlike in 1914, this war is not likely to become a world war. However, the consequences of a war in Iran will be disastrous, given that there is already a war going on in Iraq next door and on the other side in Afghanistan. It could turn out to be something that hasn't happened since 1945: a trans - regional "black hole" that will stretch from Palestine to the Hindu Kush-a continuous zone of terrorism and civil wars.
At the other extreme, there is a high probability that Tehran will sooner or later follow the North Korean path: break off relations with the IAEA, withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and create nuclear weapons (NW). This would mean the final collapse of the Treaty and the entire nuclear non-proliferation regime, with all the ensuing consequences. These include further proliferation of nuclear weapons (among the priority candidates are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa), and an increase in the likelihood of their combat or accidental use. In the end, it is inevitable that a nuclear explosive device will fall into the hands of international terrorism and be used to destroy modern civilization.
The space between these two extreme options-a peaceful political and diplomatic solution to the problem - is constantly narrowing, especially in recent weeks, due to the well-known events in Iran and in its relations with the IAEA and other countries. Urgent and decisive steps are required ... Read more