UN inspectors returned to Iran for their second visit in three weeks to investigate potential military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program. The previous visits did not lead to any resolution or specific findings of military capacity but international suspicion of such capacity within the nuclear program remains peaked. Iran’s nuclear program has been the center of significant international tension and threatens further economic consequences and potential military measures taken by certain nations. The European Union has already imposed economic sanctions against Iran that will take effect on July 1 and has considered imposing further sanctions, along with other nations. These sanctions have been imposed in light of what is deemed to be Iran’s lack of transparency in regards to its nuclear program. Iran has stated that it has made significant progress within its nuclear program pertaining to uranium enrichment, raising more international concern.
In response to the continuous suspicion and sanctions, Iran has threatened to cut off Britain and certain countries within the European Union that are more dependent on Iranian oil. These threats have caused some international members to question Iran’s motives, suspecting the intention is to pin nations dependent on Iranian oil against those that are independent. Britain has reiterated it intends to put pressure Iran diplomatically and economically, and has urged Israel to refrain from taking military action targeted at Iran’s nuclear facilities. Throughout the entire period Iran has insisted its nuclear program has been implemented strictly for peaceful purposes, however, attempted concealment of a relatively new uranium enrichment plant in Iran (eventually discovered in 2009) has worried the international community. In a recent letter to the European Union, Iran asked for talks with the United States, Russia, Britain, Germany, France, and China at the earliest possible time. In the past, such talks have increased tension and have produced “warlike statements” from Iran, leaving uncertain the productivity that would result from such talks.
What can the international community do to ease its concerns surrounding Iran’s nuclear program? Do you agree with Iran’s approach towards those that have sanctioned Iran? How many times should the UN inspectors return to Iran? Until they find what they are looking for?
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