It is Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy, America!

Published: January 6, 2014

Is Iran even worthy of possessing nuclear weapons given their history? PHOTO: AFP

Hiroshima and Nagasaki – two words that evoke nothing but the destructive horror which ensued after the United States attacked Japan. There is not much to say apart from the fact that the results from the explosion can still be seen today. Those who survived diseases from the blast produced offspring with mutations. Humanity was killed that day as the radioactive footprint was embedded on Japanese soil.

While the US may, arguably, be the most powerful state in the world, it had no right to engage in nuclear war. Some might say that it was, in fact, a ‘war’. Very well, but then why does the US persist on interfering in the running of other countries? It is currently on the forefront of attempting to dislodge the Iranian ambitions of establishing nuclear power as an energy source on the accusation that Iran may use the technology to make weapons.

Let us not talk in rhetorical semantics; even if Iran is building weapons of mass destruction, the US has only the authority to report this to the United Nations (UN) and urge the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate the issue. Furthermore, economic sanctions may be enforced, which have been in place for several years.

A while back, the new Iranian administration participated in ground-breaking talks as a nuclear deal was reached in which Iran agreed to halt all enrichments, reduce production and nurture transparency regarding all their nuclear pursuits. As talks continue, the US will keep enforcing economic sanctions on Iran but will ease down if they deem that Iran has held up their end of the deal.

While most of the international community has welcomed this deal, it is a disgrace to see the US using its power in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to force Iran off the nuclear road. As one of the most powerful states, the US feels it has the responsibility of playing the role of the world police.

Is it justified to say that Iran is unstable and that the nuclear power could fall into the wrong hands when you yourself handed weapons for the Iraq war or, when you handed weapons to the Al-Qaeda and unnamed rebels in the Middle East?  Is Iran even worthy of possessing nuclear weapons?

I don’t trust the Americans with nuclear weapons. However, their power and stature on the global platform allows me no choice but to trust that they will not engage in nuclear war. Sadly, it is not by choice but by a lack thereof that the US can carry out ridiculously inhumane activities and employ intimidation to make sure nobody gets in the path of Uncle Sam.

It seems as if the United States has two types of foreign policy; the first revolves around spying on over 40 countries and collecting large amounts of data on everybody and their grandmothers. The second employs ‘kinetic military action’ (read: Obama) which is not war entirely but does involve drone attacks which kill countless civilians. Wielding these policies, along with the natural grandeur and its perks, the US makes a formidable global guardian.

Countries like Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered time and again due to political inadequacies or just by design. However, the one country that has remained tough on its stance is Iran, regardless of its economic isolation.

In reality, Iran is a signatory of the treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and has shown absolutely no intentions of developing nuclear weapons. Their commitment, at the aforementioned talks, shows that they do not plan on engaging in weapon development. However, I think it is incredibly insulting for a sovereign country to have its arm twisted into allowing the accusatory IAEA to investigate their nuclear facilities and sniff for weapons.

Sadly, times change and with pressures mounting, it seems as if Iran’s resolve is fading away. Whether Iran will stand by the deal is irrelevant but in the global village, the new administration of the country shows considerable leaps to escape the isolated zone that Iran has been living in for years. Only time will tell how this saga will end, if it ever ends that is.

But what I feel the US needs to understand, considering its own barrage of nuclear weapons and energy, that it is not a privilege for Iran to develop nuclear energy, it is their right.

Is it Iran's right to develop nuclear energy?

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Asad Shabbir

Asad Shabbir

A sophomore at LUMS, a blogger, a TEDX speaker, and a novelist. Follows technology, current events, and the occasional Pakistani cricket match. He tweets as @sceneawwn and blogs at

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hamza

    If Iran has agreed to sign a deal with the US to scale down it’s nuclear program, why do you have such an issue?
    And you seriously think Iran has remained tough despite the sanctions? WOW! If that was true then a man who promised to negotiate with the Americans wouldn’t have been elected President
    Moreover, the common Pakistani doesn’t care one bit about Iran’s “rights” and “privileges”
    If Iran isn’t able to develop nuclear weapons…… Pakistan going to lose anything? No, so why should we care?
    There’s something called “National Interest” which the United States understands but you clearly don’t
    The fact still remains:
    Iran gets nuclear weapons or not
    Iran’s nuclear program gets shutdown or not
    Iran’s nuclear sites are bombed by the US, Israel or KSA or not
    Pakistanis DON’T care and SHOULDN’T care! PeriodRecommend

  • Kamran

    It seems as if the United States has two types of foreign policy; the first revolves around pleasing its allies (Saudi arabia, UAE, Israel etc etc..) and the second employs ‘kinetic military action’ (or sanctions where he can’t take military action) on those who are against its allies or have public sentiments divided between its allies and enemies, just like iran, afghanistan, pakistan etc…Recommend

  • Parvez

    Academically this reads just fine.Recommend

  • UtkarshSinghNain

    That’s a false choice you’re presenting in the polls, so they’ll obviously go your way.

    The US is against Iran developing nuclear weapons, not against nuclear energy for civilian use. That’s the entire source of their fear.Recommend

  • Zulqarnain Abbas

    Same question arises , who are USA to decide which country should and should´t have Nukes ?Recommend

  • Zulqarnain Abbas

    And why is that , why Pakistan should´t care what is going on in a brotherly neighboring muslim country ? When we care what is happening to muslims in Kashmir ? Who is controlling Kabul , then why not care about only country on our border who can help us with our economy ?Recommend

  • abhi098

    As an indian I support iran developing nuclear weapons too but on one condition that you won’t touch israel.If u touch israel expect a rain of things from sky which will remove iran from world map.Recommend

  • ProudPakistani

    US claimed Iraq to have nuclear weapons then started war later found out there are no nuclear weapons, exact same with Libya and i have strong feeling US wants same for iran.

    But guess what the common thing between all is OIL.

    Maybe you should get your news from news sources other than CNN, fox and being an indian you should’nt forget how US played your diplomat.Recommend

  • UtkarshSinghNain

    The one with more power and influence on the world stage gets to decide. I’m not saying it’s fair or just, but I for one would prefer Iran not have nukes, because there are already too many nukes in the world.Recommend

  • Hamza

    When did I say we should care about Kashmir either? We can’t control four provinces and then you want us worrying about Kashmir and another country?
    Brotherly Muslim country?! Stop living in the 15th Century for God’s sake! It’s not like the Iranians are helping us out of the good-will of their heart! They are also working in their own National Interest. Every country works for it’s own interest.
    The only way Iran can help us in our economy is through the gas pipeline…not their Nuclear Project
    So stop worrying about that when you don’t have any interests related their nuclear projectRecommend

  • Shaheer

    1. The current superpower in this unipolar world.
    2. Member of the Permanent 5 with the power of veto.
    3. A superpower who does not want itself or it’s allies (specifically Isreal) to come under threat.Recommend

  • Javed

    I think the arguments presented here are valid. Yes, Iran is a signatory party to the NPT but that treaty does not allow for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear energy is fine. The article treats this topic with much care as it basically stands to refute the American approach to the issue. Americans need to be taken a step down. They can not run the entire world, no matter what UNSC/P5 powers they have.Recommend

  • Lalaghee

    Already Pakistan has this. We don’t want another loose cannon in the most violent neighborhood in this world. Recommend

  • shah

    Anti-Americanism really is the main fashion in Pakistan these days. Whats funny is this LUMS graduate will be himself heading to the US after getting his bachelors.Recommend

  • Syed Bushra

    The issue isn’t one of America-Iran and nuclear energy. That’s an illusion.

    Its a geopolitical matter more than anything else. Sunni Saudi Arabia, cannot stand the idea of Shia Iran acquiring nuclear ‘anything’ and Israel is very supportive of the idea. If Iran gets nuclear ‘anything’, its prestige in Middle East grows which Saudi Arabia consider its backyard. To make matters worse for Iran, the Ayatollahs don’t have any pull with the West. America, Britain, and France, all UNSEC members, have their own vendettas with Iran leaving Iran in the arms of Russia and China. So does Russia and China want a nuclear Iran? Not really, keeping Iran in its current state means cheap oil for China and continued sales of weapons and business for Russia. Everyone is quite happy with where Iran is except Iran and its people, and rightly so. The people of Iran are the ones that have suffered the most in this geopolitical struggle.

    Luckily for Iran, Mr. Obama, having unleashed mass surveillance and killed innocent people around the globe, is desperate to seal his legacy in his last term and wants something ‘major’ to justify his Nobel Prize. So can he? Perhaps if you believe U.S. public opinion polls who favor a deal with Iran but its going to be an uphill battle as its Obama vs Everyone (Saudi Arabia, Israel, France) and John Kerry, who’ll actually have to cut the deal with Iran, is already busy working on a breakthrough on Israel-Palestine issue; having already made 10 trips to the region last year.

    Now does Iran have a right to nuclear energy?
    Absolutely yes, but so does North Korea.

    The real question is: ‘Can’ Iran, or anyone else including Pakistan, get their ‘right’ without international consensus?

  • Danial Tariq

    I think they will have it one day! national security is a right of every nation as far as my brain can understand. Never understood why the world is after Iran.Recommend

  • antanu

    US double standards are no secrets. Still the sub continent always try to worship it…whether it’s india or Pakistan. ..India more so because of its relation with Pakistan.In the log run it will also suffer.Distain shown by US to indian diplomat is a glaring example. Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Would the author also support nuclear energy for afghanistan?Recommend

  • Asif

    Another LUMUN bacha thinking global dynamics is restricted to what he read in his study-guides.Recommend

  • Aariz12

    Well said, it’s a naivity mixed with a misplaced sense of nationalism. Regardless of the fact that the US Intel was wrong on Iraq, and many with in that govt. have addimited that. Iraq is a nation that has used banned chemical weapons on its own people. Iran is a nation that has armed and supported terrorist and insurgent groups in other countries. So this argument that Iran’s just walking down the street minding its own business just doesn’t hold water. Recommend

  • unbelievable

    Issue has never been about peaceful development of nuclear power – that’s Muslim rubbish which has zero support. The issue has always been about Iran developing technology who’s sole purpose is nuclear weapons – they have been caught lying so many times that even their allies Russia and China no longer support them and have supported sanctions.Recommend

  • WookieBrown

    1. American public is actually exhausted by two wars and riddled with war debt. They are not in the mood for another war on Saudi Arabia and Israeli’s wish list. Meanwhile, Team Saudi Arabia, France, and Israel don’t have what it takes to attack Iran. They keep pushing each other to attack and none of them have the guts or wants to take the risk.

    2. American political elites now want to use Iran as a counterforce against Saudi influence. Given that both Wahabism and al-Qaeda are sworn enemies of Shias, Iran is a natural U.S. ally and, as you mentioned, Iran has oil.

    3. All of this is bad news for not only Saudi Arabia but Pakistani intelligentsias who’s proxies in Afghanistan will now have a choice between America, Iran and India. To be fair, America and India don’t have as much pull as Iran and Pakistan in Afghanistan who share a border and have been in Afghan trenches for a long time.

    In any case,
    Old U.S. Friends: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan
    New U.S. Friends: Iran and IndiaRecommend