Intro. <br />Government & politics of Iran (Ray Khorasani)<br />Human rights (BadihElarba)<br />Terrorism (Cliff Martin)<br />Nuclear program (Ivan Camacho)<br />
History<br />Pahlavi era 1925-1979<br />Reza Shah Pahlavi till 1941 <br />Authoritarian Government<br />Mohammad Reza Shah<br />Prime minister Mohammed Mosaddeq<br />nationalize the British-owned oil industry <br />Abadan Crisis<br />CIA coup<br />Operation Ajax (British M16)<br />1979 Revolution<br />From Monarchy under Shah to Islamic Republic<br />1979 Hostage crisis<br />Eight years of Iran-Iraq war <br />Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khomeini)<br />“charismatic leader of immense popularity” <br />Marja: "Religious Reference”<br />“appropriate political and managerial skill” <br />Ali Khamenei (1989 –Next supreme leader)<br />
Complex Political system<br />modern Islamic theocracy with democracy<br /><ul><li>Supreme Leader
Head of Judiciary</li></ul>- Sharia(islamic text and teaching)<br /><ul><li>Expediency Council</li></li></ul><li>Complex Political System<br />Guardian Council<br />Assembly of experts<br />Parliament (majlis)<br />Cabinet<br />President<br />Electorate<br />
Forces of Political Power<br />Repress the opposition<br />allocates economic resources <br />Punish offenders (kidnap, torture, kill , assassinate and hang)<br />Buy political loyalty<br />Political rent<br />Economic performance<br />Maintain political power<br />Economic resources<br />
before Iran’s recent election<br />Obama Administration<br />encouraged the regime's power grab<br />emboldened Khamenei and Ahmadinejad<br />
Currently<br />Political situation is Foggy (after recent election)<br />MahmoudAhmadinejad tighten control of regime <br />Khamenei attempting first vice president (EsfandiarMashaie)<br />
Internet rumor<br />October 14, 2009<br />Ayatollah Khamenei was critically ill or even dead. <br />London Newspaper<br />discussion question:<br />If khamenei’s death were true, how would it affect the regime of Iran? Would this be any less threat to the U.S? <br />
History human rights<br />Violations recorded since mid. 1960’s<br />List of violations <br />Majority never been investigated<br />
1988 Prison massacres<br />Summer of 1988<br />Thousands executed<br />2009 Iranian government cover<br />
Currently<br />2009 Election<br />109 Human rights groups<br />
Does Human rights violations by Iran prompt an invasion by the U.S to spread liberal ideals?<br />
SECTION III: Iran and Terrorism<br /><ul><li>In March 2006, then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “Iran has been the country that has been in many ways a central banker for terrorism.”
The US Defense Department in a May 2009 report, stated that “Iran remains the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”
Former CIA officer Michael Scheuer defines a state sponsor of terrorism as “a country that uses surrogates as its weapons to attack other people.”
Amy Zalman, Ph.D., a senior research strategist states, “ The most prominent group supported by Iran is the Lebanese group Hizbollah, and the reason accepted for their sponsorship of a terrorist organization: To indirectly influence politics elsewhere.
US officials charge that as in previous years, Iran continues to provide funding, weapons training, and sanctuary to numerous terrorists groups based in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories. </li></li></ul><li> IRAN AND TERRORISM: HISTORY AND REASONS <br /><ul><li>PAST: After the 1979 Revolution, Iran initially began supporting radical groups, many of whom embraced terrorism.
Iran were the representatives of the world’s largest Shi’a nation, and Tehran was especially active in working with Shi’a Muslim movements around the world.
The clerical regime in Tehran viewed supporting revolutions overseas as part of its revolutionary duty.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini declared shortly after taking power that, “We should try hard to export our revolution to the world….we [shall] confront the world with our ideology.”-Daniel Byman, The Saban Center for Middle East Policy.
Supporting subversive movements (terrorism), in the case of Iran, became a way of weakening, destabilizing, and toppling what in the eyes of Tehran were illegitimate regimes, (i.e. Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan), where Shi’a Muslims faced oppression and discrimination.</li></li></ul><li>Iran and Terrorism: History and Reasons<br /><ul><li>In the case of Iraq, immediately following the Revolution, Iran began supporting radicalism there, especially various Iraqi Shi’ite groups under the umbrella of the SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq).
This subsequently contributed to the decision of Bagdad to invade Iran.
Iranian expert R.K. Ramazani stated that Iran’s goal was, through terrorism, “to undermine the Hussein regime and pave the way for the establishment of an Iranian-type Islamic government in Iraq.”
During the Iran-Iraq War, Iran also used maritime terror, using unmarked gunboats and floating mines to attack noncombatant shipping.-Gary Sick, Iran: Confronting Terrorism.</li></li></ul><li>Iran and Terrorism: History and Reasons<br /><ul><li>Domestic politics have also motivated Iran to sponsor terrorism.
Iran’s self-proclamation as the protector of Shi’a Muslims required them to show clear gestures of support.
During the 1980s Iran provided funding to a wide range of Shi’a Muslim groups such as:
Hizbollah also took numerous Western hostages in the 1980s, executing several of them.
One senior Hizbollah member said of the relationship to Iran in the early 1980s, “That ours is one of a junior to a senior, of a soldier to his commander.”</li></li></ul><li>Iran and Terrorism: Past Reasons<br /><ul><li>Terrorism gave Iran a way to weaken its neighbors and influence events beyond its borders.
Terrorism not only allowed Iran to weaken its adversaries, but also to have a voice in the opposition to a particular regime
Terrorism allowed Iran to compensate for its military inferiority.
Lacking aircraft carriers or other military forces that could be deployed thousands of miles away, Iran used terrorism to project power.
Terrorism offered Iran some degree of deniability.
Working through proxies allowed Iran to achieve its own interest during this time against the United States and Israel without paying the consequences of a more direct involvement. </li></li></ul><li>Iran and Terrorism: Present <br /><ul><li>According to Daniel Byman of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, “Iran’s use of terrorism, from the U.S. point of view, has changed dramatically since the 1980s and parts of the 1990s.”
Iran, though it contains the capabilities to do so, appears not to target Americans directly.
Iran has also cut back on operations in Europe and the Gulf States since the early 1990s.
Iranian official feared continuing attacks on Iranian dissidents would lead to European sanctions and reduced investment in their economy
(up until the early 1990s, Iranian intelligence services routinely assassinated Iranian dissidents in Europe).
In the mid-1990s, Iran’s President at the time Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, established “cordial relations” with the Arabian Gulf States, and a subsequent end to actively trying overthrow those regimes.</li></li></ul><li>Hizbollah (Party of God)<br /><ul><li>However, despite these “changes,” according to a 2009 report from the US State Department, Iran still consistently tops the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The continued close relationship between Tehran and the Lebanese Hizbollah (Party of God), which Iran helped to found in the 1980s, and train in the Bekaa Valley from a “motley assortment of small Shi’ite organizations.
Iran has been the main weapons supplier since its establishment. Everything from mines, small arms, and explosives
Iran, with contributions from Syria as well, provided an estimated $100 million dollars to the group in 2006, though British Intelligence estimates are much lower at around $10 millions dollars.
Hizbollah operatives enjoy close ties to Iranian intelligence and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Hizbollah’s senior terrorist, ImadMugniyieh, has Iranian citizenship.
Hizbollah continues to offer Iran a form of status by association in the Arab world.</li></li></ul><li>Palestinian Terrorist Groups<br /><ul><li>According to Senior Researcher at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs Middle East Institute Gary Sick:
“Iran has simply re-directed its promotion of violence, and it seems to be focused on support for radical anti-Israeli groups in Palestine.”
Over the years, Tehran has backed several Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Hamas and in particular Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has proven to be an especially bloody group that remains committed to conducting “heinous attacks on Israeli citizens.”
Shortly after Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian Authority (PA) elections, Iran pledged $50 million to the near-bankrupt PA.
The FBI and the United States Department of Justice have stated that Hamas threatens the United States directly through covert cells on US soil.</li></li></ul><li>Palestinian Terrorist Groups<br /><ul><li>Three main reasons Iran continues to support Palestinian violence against Israel according a 2009 report by Council on Foreign Relations:
Iranian leaders have a genuine commitment to help Palestine fight what Tehran views as an illegitimate colonial regime.
Support for Palestine enhances Iran’s prestige throughout the world.
By disrupting the Israel-Palestine peace process, Iran is able to prevent its isolation in the Muslim world, something the U.S. has wanted as punishment for Iran’s “rogue” behavior.</li></li></ul><li>Iran, Iraq, Al-Qaeda<br /><ul><li>Today Iran is believed to have close ties to an array of Iraqi Shi’a groups, and their influence goes well beyond the Shi’a community extending to several Kurdish groups.
Although some groups have attacked pro-US actors in Iraq, recently Iran has chosen to exercise restraint many experts believe as a result of shared ideals between the leaders.
Security experts agree that Iran could escalate the violence in Iraq if they feel the US is trying to remove their influence, or if the US hardens its position on Iran’s nuclear program.
The 9/11 Commission reported that in 1992 Al-Qaeda and Iran had contacts in the Sudan, and that individuals linked to AL-Qaeda received training in Iran and Lebanon in the 1990s.
Since 9/11, Iran has cooperated to a limited degree fighting jihadists, sending many back to their home countries.
Tehran, however, has allowed several senior Al-Qaeda officials such as Saad Bin Laden and Saif al-Adel to remain in Iran.
According to one US security expert, “Iran is keeping its options open with regard to jihadists, and its long-terms intentions with Al-Qaeda are unclear at best.”</li></li></ul><li>Iran as a “Victim” of Terrorism<br /><ul><li>On October 18, 2009 in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan, a Sunni resistance movement called Jundallah (Soldiers of God) killed 43 people including six senior officials of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps through a deadly suicide attack and car bombing.
Jundallah’s recent attacks against the IRGC and the Iranian Government include:
2005 ambush on Iranian President MahmoudAhmadinejad motorcade in Sistan-Baluchistan.
The 2007 ambush on an IRGC that killed 18 officers in Zahedan
The 2008 kidnapping and execution of 16 Iranian policemen.</li></li></ul><li>Iran as a “Victim” of Terrorism<br /><ul><li>The most recent attacks led Ahmadinejad to ironically call for regional cooperation on terrorism.
Iranian officials accused the US along with British and Pakistan intelligence agencies of being involved in the attacks.
Most serious observers of modern Western diplomacy discount the very possibility of US or Western involvement.
However, a 2007 report by ABC News reporter Brian Ross revealed evidence that Jundallah has been “secretly encouraged” to destabilize the Iranian government, and that former Vice-President Chaney discussed the activities of the group with Palestinian intelligence officials on several occasions beginning in 2005.</li></li></ul><li>Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps<br /><ul><li>Shortly after 1979 Revolution, the IRGC was started as a force loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini, and its main role is national security in particular controlling the borders of Iran.
Former CIA officer Robert Baer claims their terrorist activities range from the 1983 Embassy bombing in Beirut to the 1988 hijacking of Kuwait Airlines flight 422.
Close ties with Lebanese terrorist group Hizbollah.
The US lists an elite branch of the IRGC called the Quds Force as a terrorist organization who have been blamed for repeated acts of violence in Iraq.
In a 2008 article in The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh stated that President Bush had signed a Presidential Finding authorizing a division of the CIA to begin operations into Iran directed at the Quds Forces.</li></li></ul><li>MeK<br /><ul><li>The MeK or People’s Mujahadeen Organization of Iran is the largest and most militant group opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The U.S. State Department lists MeK as a terrorist organization as well as Iran.
The 1998 assassination of Iranian prosecutor AsadollahLajevardi
The 1999 assassination of Iranian General Ali SayadShirazi
Its efforts have won it support among some American and European lawmakers according to a 2005 Center for Policing Terrorism report, and even a campaign in the US Congress to have it removed from the terrorist list.</li></li></ul><li>Iran, Terrorism, and Weapons of Mass Destruction<br /><ul><li>In August of this year, President Ahmadinejad nominated former leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Ahmad Vahidi to serve as defense minister of Iran, a decision condemned by many given his role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has been one of the world’s most active sponsors of terrorism. They have trained, financed, and organized dozens of violent groups from Lebanon to the Philippines.
However, Daniel Byman in a March 2008 report believes that these groups do not present a danger in the weapons of mass destruction department, including nuclear weapons, for three reasons:
First, providing these groups with unconventional weapons offers Iran few tactical advantages, as these groups are able to operate effectively with existing methods.
Second, Iran has become cautious with its backing of terrorism in recent years.
Third, Iran is highly aware that any major escalation in its support for terrorism would incur US wrath and international condemnation.</li></li></ul><li>Question to be asked?<br />Given Iran’s past and current history as the leaders of state sponsored terrorism, would you agree with Byman’s thesis that Iran is unlikely to transfer nuclear weapons to its state supported terrorist groups given its restraint to do so in the past with chemical weapons?<br />
Overview<br />Nuclear Technology: Point Out the Methods of Nuclear Technology and The Time it Takes to Produce Weapons Grade Uranium.<br />Iran’s Nuclear History: Discuss Iran’s Nuclear History and U.S. Relations with Iran. <br /> Importance of Nuclear Technology: Discus Iran’s Perspective on its Nuclear Program, and Why They Would Choose to Develop This Type of Technology. <br />Iran: A Nuclear Threat? The Possibility That Iran May Threaten U.S. Security.<br />Questions/Debate:<br />
How Should The U.S. Confront Iran’s Nuclear Program?<br />By Military Force?<br />Through Diplomacy?<br /> Government Reform?<br />Economically?<br />Do Nothing?<br />
Nuclear Technology<br />Two Ways to Build a Nuclear Weapon or Fuel For a Nuclear Reactor: (Plutonium and Uranium).<br />Plutonium: Some Scientist Suggest That You Can Build Nuclear Weapons More Efficiently with Plutonium and Also May Be A Favorable Method to Fuel Nuclear Reactors. <br />Enrich Uranium: Iran’s Choice For Its Nuclear Energy and Perhaps Its Method for Making a Nuclear Bomb (More than 90% of U-235).<br />Weapons-Grade Uranium Takes Time!<br /> Some Experts Suggest Between 3 to 10 Years, But We Don’t Know Exactly How Close Iran is In Their Enrichment Program.<br />Iran Does Not Know How Well Their Machines are Going to Work, or Even if They are Technically Competent In Pursuing This Process. <br />
Iran’s Nuclear History<br />Iran’s nuclear ambitions did NOT begin with the onset of the Islamic revolution in 1979. <br />The nuclear program actually started under the Shah, who, with the assistance of Western nations ( Including the U.S.) sought to construct an infrastructure of nuclear power plants.<br />Approximately $40 billion was earmarked for this ambitious project, whose purpose was the construction of at least twenty reactors.<br />Why Choose This Path?<br />The Shah’s Decision to Pursue Nuclear Technology For Energy Purposes. Yet, Weapons Intentions Remained a Possibility. <br />Iran’s fundamental right to secure energy resources (1953 Nationalized Oil), which lead for development and advancement. <br />
Iran’s Nuclear History: U.S. Assistance?<br />U.S. Did Not Support Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, Yet Allowed Iran To Pursue This Type of Technology.<br /> Other interest in the U.S. Agenda (Cold War Conflicts and Civil Rights Movements).<br /> Close ties with the Shah (Police and Agent in the Region).<br />U.S. Did Not Make a Rational Decision. Instead Gave the Shah Leverage. <br />U.S. did not anticipate or Foresaw Iran as a threat. <br />Iran signed the NPT: Allows Iran to Legally Enrich Uranium Under 90%, But Iran Can Still Enrich Uranium Up to 89% (Back Door to Enrich Uranium but Art. IV States For Peaceful Purposes).<br />U.S.-Iran Nuclear Energy Agreement was signed in July 1978. Which resulted American export of nuclear technology and material and helped in searching for uranium deposits.<br />First Iranian Engineers Were Trained At MIT. <br />U.S. Provided Intelligence and Gave Lead Way To Pursue Nuclear Program. <br />
Importance of Nuclear Energy<br />Iran’s Fundamental Right to Advance and Develop. Iran is Interested in Innovation, Advancement, Modernization and Have the Resources to do so. <br />Why should Iran deplete its nonrenewable oil and gas sources?<br />Iran, much like the energy-rich United States and Russia, can resort to renewable nuclear energy. Iran's present electrical requirements are far larger than had been predicted. <br />With an annual growth of 6 percent to 8 percent in demand for electricity and a population estimated to reach 100 million by 2025, Iran cannot possibly rely exclusively on oil and gas.<br />
Importance of Nuclear Energy<br />Aging Oil Industry:<br /> Pre-revolution production level was at 5.5 million barrels per day. Compared to 3.5 million barrels per day and it’s increasingly geared toward domestic consumption, which has grown by more than 280 percent since 1979.<br />Iran should opt for the more economically efficient electricity from natural gas-fired power plants.<br />Cost of producing electricity from gas (and oil) is comparable with what it costs to generate it using nuclear reactors.<br /> Carbon Emissions are Minimal Compared to That of Fossil Fuels.<br />A 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study recommended vast expansion of nuclear power to make a dent in the climate-change problem. <br />Preserve Iran's gas reserves to position Iran in 20 or 30 years as one of the main suppliers of gas to Europe and Asia.<br />
Iran’s Security at Stake?<br />With the On Going Conflicts in The Middle East Perhaps Nuclear Weapons May Provide Security? <br /> Historical Perspective: Iran-Iraq War<br />Iran-Iraq War May Have Affected Iran’s Psyche? <br />Estimated 1.7 People Wounded and 1 Million Dead. <br />For eight years, Saddam’s regime imposed a massive war of aggression against my people. It employed the most heinous weapons of mass destruction including chemical weapons against Iranians and Iraqis alike. Who, in fact, armed Saddam with those weapons? What was the reaction of those who claim to fight against WMDs regarding the use of chemical weapons then? (President Ahmadinejad, September, 2005).<br />
Iran’s Security at Stake?<br />“ The pursuit of those programs do not strength the security of Iran, but instead make them less safe” (President Obama June, 2009). <br />“ A nuclear-armed Iran with a deliverable weapons system is going to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and the greater nations” (Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton June, 2009).<br />
Iran: A Nuclear Threat?<br />U.S. Concerns On Iran’s Nuclear Program Focuses on Two Potential Threats.<br />1. Making a Bomb: Iran’s Ability to Produce Weapons -Grade Uranium and Using this Technology to Make a Bomb.<br />2. Nuclear Proliferation and The Possibility of Nukes Landing in the Wrong Hands (Terrorists). <br /> State Sponsored Terrorism Draws Interests. (Terrorist Bombing of a Marine Corps Barracks in Lebanon).<br />In the 1980s Iran was added to the US list of countries that support terrorism.<br />Lack of Trust The U.S. and The International Community Has With Iran. (Iran Broke NTP Treaty, Secret Facilities, and Intentions With Nuclear Energy).<br />Iran’s Relationship With Israel. <br />Potential Threat to Israel (Wipe Israel Out Off The Map!)<br />Close Ties Between Israel and U.S. (U.S. Interest To Protect Israel)<br />
How Should The U.S. Confront Iran’s Nuclear Program?<br />By Military Force?<br /> Have Israel Attack Iran On U.S. Behalf? Provided Israel with Intelligence<br />CIA Paramilitary Operation? CIA Close Ties with the MEK Could Result in a MEK Attack.<br />Preemptive Strike? Destroy Nuclear Related Sites. <br />Invade Iran? May Result In Severe Retaliation. (Terrorism)<br />
Possible Solutions<br />Through Diplomacy? <br />Discuss possible solutions to reduce a nuclear threat. Have Talks with Iran. (Obama Administration Path)<br />Compromise- One way to do this would be to draw a line between research on uranium enrichment (which would be allowed) and significant production of enriched uranium (which would be prohibited). In exchange, Tehran would have to accept verifiable safeguards on all its enrichment operations, permit throughout the country the more intrusive type of inspections required by the Additional Protocol of the IAEA, supply the IAEA with full documentation about suspected past violations, and freeze the construction of more centrifuges and heavy-water reactors that could produce plutonium (Sagan, 2006)<br />
Possible Solutions?<br />Government Reform?<br />Restructure Government. Full Democracy May Reduce Interest , But Take into Consideration that the U.S., U.K., India, and France are Democracies with Nuclear Weapons.<br />Regime Change? Would Opposition Power Slow Down Nuclear Interest When The Task Is at Hand? <br />Economically?<br />Economic Sanctions May Affect Nuclear Production Due to the Lack of Funds to Continue the Enrichment Process.<br />But Keep in Mind That There Were Billions of Dollars of Goods Smuggled into Iraq During Saddam Hussein's reign.<br />
Possible Solutions<br />Do Nothing? Not Actually Do Nothing But Allow Iran to Pursue Their Nuclear Program or Put Nuclear Deterrence into Effect.<br />Give Iran Recognition: Iran Claims to Be at the Status of the Elite Nations, Why not Recognize Their Sovereignty and Minimize Flak. Put Iran’s Fate in Iran’s Hands. <br />Kenneth Waltz: “Spread rather Than Proliferation” Slow Spread of Nuclear Weapons Will Promote Peace and Reinforce International Stability. <br />Deterrence: Deploy missile Defenses to Allies or Partners and Develop a New Class of Lower-Yield Nuclear Weapons to Counter a Nuclear Iran. <br />
What’s Your Take? <br />By Military Force?<br />Through Diplomacy?<br /> Government Reform?<br />Economically?<br />Do Nothing? (Recognition/Deterrence)<br />Your Solutions?<br />
Nuclear Issue Is Just One Issue.<br />Part III of POL. 3523 Focuses on Potential Threat to U.S. Security. <br />If U.S. Can’t Stop Nuclear Program, There are Other Areas to Consider. (Terrorism, Human Rights, Government)<br />
Discussion question<br />How Should The U.S. Confront Iran’s Nuclear Program?<br />Given Iran’s past and current history as the leaders of state sponsored terrorism, would you agree with Byman’s thesis that Iran is unlikely to transfer nuclear weapons to its state supported terrorist groups given its restraint to do so in the past with chemical weapons?<br />Does Human rights violations by Iran prompt an invasion by the U.S to spread liberal ideals?<br />If khamenei’s death were true, how would it affect the regime of Iran? Would this be any less threat to the U.S? <br />