“Nuclear Power Is Our Right!”:The 2010 Tehran Declaration
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Most studies on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear development focus on the Iranian regime’s assumed intentions to build nuclear weapons, the strategic motivations that guide this program or the kind of threat a nuclear Iran would pose to the region.1 When these studies acknowledge, there is an important ideological component to Iran’s nuclear program; they see this as a constraint on Iran’s rationality, which only adds to the concerns about the prospect of a nuclear Iran. This chapter takes a different approach, and places Iran’s nuclear development in the context of the Iranian regime’s foreign policy discourse. The previous chapters argued that foreign policy discourse, as the framework within which foreign policy makers understand international developments, forms the context in which foreign policy decisions are made. This context makes certain foreign policy possible, even favorable, while precluding other options. Within the Iranian regime’s ideological context under Ahmadinejad, Iranian intransigence toward Western demands in the nuclear issue was not only a possibility, but even an advantage for the regime, as it confirms the revolutionary ideology that underpins their claim to power. Moreover, the nuclear issue made it possible for the regime to act within an international space in which United States’ power is challenged by rising powers, increasing Iran’s international options and challenging the notion that it is isolated.
KeywordsForeign Policy Security Council Nuclear Weapon Islamic Republic Iranian Regime
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