Daily Video

July 10, 2012

Some Argue Shifting Course on Iran Policy

Many in the international community have long been wary of Iran’s ambition to develop nuclear capabilities. While Iran claims that its work in nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes, namely for building power plants, most believe that their eventual plan is to create a nuclear bomb.

The U.S. and its allies have taken a hard-line approach against Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. The international community has tried to put pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear program by holding nuclear talks and levying sanctions against the state. President Obama, like President Bush before him, has sought to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear capability.

However, in a new article in Foreign Affairs magazine international relations expert Kenneth Waltz argues that this policy of prevention is merely making the situation worse, and that allowing Iran to get the bomb may help to stabilize the Middle East. This controversial new article comes ahead of meetings between Iran, the U.S., and members of the European Union to discuss whether to restart nuclear talks. It seems unlikely that the article will change the course of the meetings, which are set to start at the end of July.

Quotes

“Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment. I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” – President Barack Obama

Warm Up Questions

1. What are nuclear weapons, and why are we so concerned about them?

2. What is a sanction?

3. Where is Iran?

Discussion Questions

1. Should we allow Iran to have nuclear capabilities? Why or why not? Discuss.

2. Why is the international community concerned about Iran in particular getting a nuclear weapon?

3. Does the international community have the right to determine who can and cannot have nuclear weapons? If so, how should they go about determining who should get them. If not, why not? Discuss.

Additional Resources

Video Transcript

Tensions Rise Over Iranian Nuclear Program

Iran Launches Satellite, Escalating Tensions with U.S

Lesson Plan: The Prospect For Democracy in Iran

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