Iran's Nuclear Program

Kyra Carusa
February 26, 2017

Submitted as coursework for PH241, Stanford University, Winter 2017


Fig. 1: The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Other Officials of the P5+1 and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Iran and EU in Lausanne. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Over the last decade, Iran has showed a push in nuclear power use and the creation of centrifuges. To provide safeguards, P-5+1 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Islamic Republic of Iran have presented the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to "ensure that Iran's nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful, and mark a fundamental shift in their approach to this issue." [1,2] Fig. 1 depicts those involved in the negotiations about the Iranian nuclear program. With the Trump administration stepping into office, limits on Iran's nuclear program look to be tightening up.

History of Program

Iran has developed its nuclear program starting in 1965 with the Shah. [3] By 2003, the country was in full force to make the nuclear bomb. [3] Iran and Israel have had threatening relations when it comes to nuclear programs - both countries threatening attacks on the other when felt they were in danger. [1,2] Though these accusations have been made, Iran has stated that it only seeks to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, but passed events of hiding nuclear programs leaves their word to be questioned. [4] At this time, Iran nuclear deal does not impact testing. Other UN resolutions only "call on" Iran to avoid such tests, but do not ban them. [5]

U.S Involvement

Israel is important to keep in mind as President Obama's Foreign Policy states that he wants to stop threat against Israel from Iran. [1,2] With the Trump administration stepping in, a top priority for both the U.S. and Israel is to contain Iran's nuclear program in general. [5] Trump says that he "... is not happy with the nuclear deal ..." [5] Iran has made major push back on the tightened limits President Trump looks to continue implementing on the country, going as far as stating that a nuclear deal with Iran would be the "worst agreement." [5]

© Kyra Carusa. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] S. Ghasseminejad, "Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and Economic Sanctions," Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, March 2016.

[2] I. Parmar, "Foreign Policy Fusion: Liberal Interventionists, Conservative Nationalists and Neoconservatives - the New Alliance Dominating the US Foreign Policy Establishment," Int. Polit. 46, 177 (2009).

[3] G. Bahgat, "Nuclear Proliferation: The Islamic Republic of Iran," Int. Stud. Perspect. 7, 124 (2006).

[4] W. Q. Bowen and J. Kidd, "The Iranian Nuclear Challenge," Int. Aff. 80, 257 (2004).

[5] T. Erdbrink, "Trump Can't Renegotiate Iran Nuclear Deal, Rouhani Says," New York Times, 17 Jan 17.