Iran and the Nuclear Question : History and Evolutionary Trajectory book cover
1st Edition

Iran and the Nuclear Question
History and Evolutionary Trajectory

ISBN 9780367878658
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

Spanning over a period of more than five decades since its inception, Iran’s nuclear programme is the most protracted civilian nuclear program in the world and one of the most politicized projects in Iran’s history.

'Iran and the Nuclear Question' offers a historiographical portrait of Iran’s early nuclear program under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Using declassified archival material, the book thematically chronicles the program’s genesis, evolutionary trajectory, and devolution from the 1950s through to the 1970s. It also catalogues the Revolutionary Iran’s early socialization into the atom and the Islamic Republic’s gradual change of heart about nuclear energy that culminated in the incremental resuscitation of the Shah’s nuclear enterprise in the 1980s.

As the first archive-based account of one of the most long-lasting and capital-intensive nuclear enterprises during the Cold War, ‘Iran and the Nuclear Question’ is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Iranian, Middle East and Security Studies. Written in a clear and accessible format, it will also appeal to those with a more general interest in Iran and its nuclear journey.

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Atoms for Peace: Nuclear Infancy 2. From Bahgdad Pact to Cento 3.The National Security Monarch 4. Nuclear Program Muddles Through 5. Prestige, Supremacy and Deterrence 6. Birth of AEOI 7. India’s Peaceful Nuclear Explosion 8. Conventional Bribery 9. Shah’s Foot-in-Mouth Moment 10. Standoff with Washington 11. Gravitation Towards Europe 12. London Club 13. Proliferation Red Flags 14. Indian Factor 15. Ford's Quest for Breakthrough 16. Nuclear-Allergic Carter 17. The Persepolis Conference and its Aftermath 18. The Devil in Details 19. Strategic Hedging 20. Israel Factor 21. Enterprise Under Fire: Nuclear Retrenchment 22. Nuclear Dormancy 23. Designation as Intransigent Proliferator Conclusion

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Mohammad Homayounvash has a Ph.D in International Relations and is currently Research Associate at the Middle East Studies Center at Florida International University, America


This is a major contribution, relying on in depth archival documents. It successfully unpacks and catalogues Iran’s nuclear program in its formative years under the Shah’s reign. It reveals heretofore unknown dynamics, including the influence exerted by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and its defiant first president, Akbar Etemad, on the non-proliferation policy debates in the United States and on the transfer of civilian nuclear know-how to the have-nots within the NPT regime. This is a serious addition to scholarship on nuclear proliferation literature and a definitive statement on the history of Iran’s nuclear program. Highly Recommended. Nasser Hadian, University of Tehran

One of the most thorough analyses of the history of one of the most contentious international conflicts of our age. Homayounvash masterfully digs deeper into the history of the Iranian nuclear program than any other scholar before him, shedding much needed light on this secretive endeavor that almost brought the US and Iran to war. Trita Parsi, Founder and current president of the National Iranian American Council.

Iran's nuclear program has been the target of much misinformation, hype and outright distortion for more than a decade. In his contribution to the subject, Homayounvash provides a corrective and enables the reader to put the issue in its proper historical and political context. Drawing from original sources in Persian language and by tapping into previously seldom used archival material in english, he presents an original analysis that sheds a new light on the subject. As such, it should be of interest to students, scholars and policy makers alike. The book is a major contribution to our understanding of Iran's nuclear program and the issues surrounding its evolution in the last sixty years. This is a must read for those interested in Middle East politics as well as the issues surrounding nuclear proliferation and international security.