A. G. ARBATOV
Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences
1.1. The creeping crisis over Iran's nuclear program, which has been escalating and softening, has been going on for about a decade. The United States has made major and unforgivable mistakes along the way and bears full responsibility for them. In 2002-2003, amid the explosion of American chauvinism after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the chance to peacefully limit Iran's nuclear program was lost. Then there was the aggression against Iraq, the hopeless occupation of Afghanistan, and the arbitrary use of force in Libya - all of which exacerbated the impasse over Iran's nuclear program and undermined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
1.2. The current stage of the crisis can be dated back to 2009, when Iran refused to transfer a significant part of its accumulated low-enriched uranium to Russia and France so that it could be further enriched to the required level (approximately 20% for the 235 isotope), converted into fuel and returned to Iran for use in a research reactor in Tehran. It became clear that Iran did not need to provide fuel for a research reactor to produce medical isotopes, but to test the possibility of increasing enrichment from 3 to 4% to 20%, which according to the IAEA standard is the upper enrichment threshold for "peaceful uranium".
1.3. In connection with the Iranian nuclear issue, Russia and other countries often defend two incompatible theses: first, that there is no reason to consider its nuclear program not peaceful, but military. Secondly, that it has the right to nuclear weapons (NWS), since Israel, Pakistan, and India already have them, and Iran needs these weapons for deterrence and security, and not for attacking other countries.
2.1. According to the first thesis, the development of a "peaceful atom" does not justify Iran's nuclear fuel cycle program. In Natanz, at a depth of 18 meters underground, almost 10 thousand centrifuges have b ... Read more