Thursday, July 02, 2009

Iran and nuclear-non proliferation

It has been over two weeks since the Iranian presidential election. Protests continue, and so do assertions from Iranian authorities that the election was legitimate. Initially, the Obama administration responded tepidly. On one hand, they needed to condemn the travesty of a tainted election and subsequent crackdowns. On the other hand, they sought to respect a nation’s sovereignty and Iran’s ambiguous nuclear program requires that the USA work towards improved relations. Another nuclear state is not good for anyone. An angry nuclear state is infinitely worse. Reflecting on the past couple of weeks, the USA and the rest of the west seem to have done a nice job straddling the issue: condemning the Iranian authorities’ actions without condemning the country.

July 1, 1968 saw the signing of The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Sixty-two nations concurrently signed the treaty in Washington, London, and Moscow. The treaty stemmed from a collective fear of the massive piles of nuclear weapons being amassed and the collective understanding that an increase in nuclear weapons made nuclear war more likely.

While considering the mindboggling concept of nuclear war, I recently stumbled upon a gem of a book by Bertrand Russell. Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare is the prolific philosopher’s recommendation on improving international relations, nonproliferation, and nuclear war avoidance. Weighing in at less than one hundred pages, the slim volume packs a punch.

Another wonderful resource available through the Austin Public Library is CQ Researcher. This database provides detailed analysis of myriad national and global topics. The entry for nuclear proliferation details nuclear development and debates issues involved. Iran is also covered equitably within numerous contexts.

PressDisplay is another incredible database available through the Austin Public Library. It contains over 800 newspapers from around the world, available the same morning they are printed. Press Display is a wonderful way to read variations in coverage and international opinion.

No comments: