Iran's Nuclear Option is essential reading for anyone with an interest in global security and the perilous volatility of the Middle East. It also comprises an indicator for America's own options, should it be willing to counter the threat while time remains, in favor of world peace rather than greater global instability.
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- Iran's Nuclear Option: Tehran's Quest for the Atom Bomb by Al J. Venter!
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Building Guided Missiles to Hit Israel. The United States and the world, Iranian policymakers now maintain publicly, should "get used to the idea of a nuclear Iran. Given these stakes, a book detailing the scope of Iran's nuclear program was well nigh inevitable. Venter just happened to write it.
Venter, however, brings credibility to his analysis. A veteran defense correspondent for Britain's prestigious Jane's Intelligence Group, Venter has logged time in some of the world's most dangerous places. His Rolodex fairly bulges with the names of important scholars, officials and analysts, and his personal accounts of investigating Iran's nuclear in-roads, particularly on the African subcontinent, make for gripping reading.
Iran's nuclear option : Tehran's quest for the atom bomb / Al J. Venter - Details - Trove
They also provide a chilling insight into the scope and sophistication of Iran's concerted, multi-decade quest for the atomic bomb. These are important insights here. In meticulous detail, the study examines the course of battle between the two hostile neighbors, delving into Iraq's strategic calculations and the Iranian military response.
By doing so, it elegantly frames the seminal events that set the Islamic Republic firmly on the path to acquiring weapons of mass destruction WMD. Over the years, Iran has matched its overt attempts to acquire the bomb with a formidable clandestine procurement operation.
It was through this effort that Tehran attempted, unsuccessfully, to gain access to fissile material in Kazakhstan and in Russia during the early s, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Venter tackles this issue as well, touching upon Iran's inroads into the nuclear black market that has cropped up in the post-Soviet space since the end of the Cold War and the quiet scavenger hunt for critical materiel and know-how in central and eastern Europe that has mirrored Tehran's public nuclear contacts with an array of foreign nations.
Venter's related examination of the workings of contemporary proliferation networks only serves to hammer home the point that Iran's nuclear program has by now become a truly international affair.
Since the early s, Russia has emerged as Iran's most important strategic ally and a key enabler of the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions. Venter draws on the work of a number of noted Russia scholars in his lucid examination of Moscow's atomic ties to Tehran, and of the reasons underpinning them--chief among them the Kremlin's continuing fears of Iranian involvement in the stirrings of radical Islamic separatism that have emerged in the Caucasus. Left unexamined, however, is the shift now visible in the balance of power between the two countries, as Moscow comes to grips with Iran's growing activism in Central Asia and the Caucasus and Tehran's mounting threat to Russia's own national security.
That is certainly a shame, because these trends provide hopeful glimpses into a future in which a Russo-Iranian divorce might just be in sight. Delaying decisive international action has been central to Iran's nuclear progress thus far, and Venter provides a sobering blow-by-blow account of how Tehran has managed diplomatically to stall, mislead and confound the IAEA, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations. Like a growing number of officials in the United States and Europe, he reaches the inescapable conclusion that the UN and its subsidiary organs are woefully ill equipped to provide a durable diplomatic answer to the Iranian regime's sophisticated attempts to acquire an atomic capability.
Patrick Clawson said it well enough, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have uncovered one hidden Iranian nuclear program after another during the last two and a half years.
Iran’s Dangerous Quest Iran’s Nuclear Option: Tehran’s Quest for the Atom Bomb by Al J. Venter
Tehran has now acknowledged having concealed for eighteen years a wide range of nuclear activities. Some of them have few peaceful applications but are directly useful for nuclear weapons. This surprising nuclear progress fits a context, for the Iranian regime has also tested long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and its Supreme Leader has proclaimed that Israel is a cancer that should be excised by being wiped off the map. Iran's nuclear program has attracted much attention from governments and from authors intent on highlighting the Iranian threat.
Some books are scaremongering, ill-informed, or both; in contrast, the Timmerman Countdown to Crisis: Timmerman writes in a chatty style with much color about the various players, structuring his account around the interaction among the actors. Learning, for example, that German foreign minister Joschka Fischer is married to the daughter of an Iranian dissident illuminates the dynamics of policymaking.
Timmerman's account is also extraordinarily well-informed, reflecting his years of association with the policy circles he describes. Unfortunately, he undermines his credibility by accepting too readily the accounts of some Iranian exiles, especially the defector Hamid Reza Zakeri, who tell hair-raising stories about Iranian hidden capabilities. Timmerman is correct that U.
Iran's Nuclear Option: Tehran's Quest for the Atom Bomb
That said, Timmerman's Countdown is the book to read for an engaging peak behind the curtain. Venter's Nuclear Option is the place to turn for technical details and footnoted references. It offers the most systematic exposition to date about Iran's nuclear program and its role in world affairs. After a solid introduction to the history and political culture of the Islamic Republic, with a solid exposition about Iran's support for terrorism, especially by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Venter carefully walks the reader through Iran's nuclear and missile programs. As might be expected from a South African author, Venter highlights the parallels between South Africa's successfully concealed nuclear program and what is known about Iran's efforts.
Some of the most technical information is in appendices; nevertheless, his account does make for heavy reading.
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This is in my opinion a tremendously important book. It focuses on what may be the single greatest danger facing the world today, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the radical Islamic fundamental state of Iran. Venter is an experienced military correspondent with rich ties both in the Middle East, and in the intelligence services of a number of nations. The picture he paints is of an Iranian regime which has for twenty years deliberately deceived the world , concealing its nuclear program.
It has made contacts all over the world , from South Africa to China and including India, and Russia in order to achieve the necessary equipment and technology to build its nuclear weapon. In the persuasive foreword to the volume Defense Expert Steven Tanner gives a very clear exposition of the exact meaning of the Iranian nuclear danger.
Iran has threatened more than once to destroy what it calls ' the Zionist entity' and this despite Israel's capacity to retaliate against Iranian cities in a massive way.