Iran and Nuclear Weapons: Protracted Conflict and Proliferation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Iran and Nuclear Weapons

Protracted Conflict and Proliferation, 1st Edition

By Saira Khan


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This book investigates what is driving Iran's nuclear weapons programme in a less-hostile regional environment, using a theory of protracted conflicts to explicate proliferation.

Iran’s nuclear weapons program has alarmed the international community since the 1990s, but has come to the forefront of international security concerns since 2000. This book argues that Iran’s hostility with the United States remains the major causal factor for its proliferation activities. With the US administration pursuing aggressive foreign policies towards Iran since 2000, the latter’s security threat intensified. A society that is split on many important domestic issues remained united on the issue of nuclear weapons acquisition after the US war in Iraq. Consequently, Iran became determined in its drive to acquire nuclear weapons and boldly announced its decision to enrich uranium, leaving the US in no doubt about its nuclear status.

This book underscores the importance of protracted conflicts in proliferation decisions, and underpinning this is the assumption that non-proliferation may be achieved through the termination of intractable conflicts. The aims of this work are to demonstrate that a state’s decision to acquire nuclear weapons depends largely on its engagement in protracted conflicts, which shows not only that the presence of nuclear rivals intensifies the nuclear ambition, but also that non-nuclear status of rival states can promote non-proliferation incentives in conflicting states inclined to proliferate.

This study will be of great interest to students of Iran, Middle Eastern politics, nuclear proliferation and international relations theory.

Saira Khan is a Research Associate in the McGill-University of Montreal Joint Research Group in International Security (REGIS).

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Causes of Proliferation 1. Factors Utilized to Comprehend Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Aspiration Part 2: Theory 2. Proliferation Proclivities of Protracted Conflict States Part 3: Case Study: Iran 3. Iran’s Nuclear Ambition and Twin Protracted Conflicts between 1947-1979 4. Iran’s Nuclear Program and Triple Protracted Conflicts from 1979 Onwards 5. The Ramifications of the Asymmetric Iran-US Protracted Conflict from 1990-2000 in Iran’s Nuclear Domain 6. Iran’s Fast-Paced Proliferation Activity and Hostile US Policy since 2000. Conclusion. Bibliography

About the Author

Saira Khan is a Research Associate at McGill-University of Montreal Joint Research Group in International Security (REGIS).

About the Series

Routledge Global Security Studies

Global Security Studies is a series for cutting-edge monographs and books on international security. It emphasizes cutting-edge scholarship on the forces reshaping global security and the dilemmas facing decision-makers the world over. The series stresses security issues relevant in many countries and regions, accessible to broad professional and academic audiences as well as to students, and enduring through explicit theoretical foundations.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / Israel
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Arms Control
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security