chapter  10
23 Pages

Nuclear policy and international relations


In the past 15 years, the United States has repeatedly accused Iran of secretly trying to acquire nuclear weapons.1 As an essential component of the US campaign against terrorism, the Bush administration has adopted a tougher and less flexible approach to deal with nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. The new policy of counter-proliferation and the pre-emptive use of military and covert force before enemies have acquired weapons of mass destruction is revealed in the National Security Strategy of the United States of America.2 This way of thinking is increasingly evident in the US efforts to persuade the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)3 that Iran is untrustworthy and is expanding its secret nuclear facilities parallel to a declared nuclear energy programme. For their part, the Iranian leaders believe that the United States is playing a major role in the continuing process of persistent international pressures exerted on Iran to accept the most intrusive IAEA inspections of its nuclear sites.