By David Isenberg
LobeLog Foreign Policy, 7 January 2012
Apart from death and taxes, one other thing has also appeared inevitable, at least for the past two decades: Iran will acquire a nuclear weapons capability.
Yet, despite all the near frantic demands for sanctions, clandestine action, sabotage, and outright military strikes to prevent Iran’s presumed inexorable march towards that capability, one thing keeps getting overlooked: Iran has not managed to develop a nuclear weapon.
How is that possible? As states go, Iran has a reasonably well-developed scientific and industrial infrastructure, an educated workforce capable of working with advanced technologies, and lots of money. If Pakistan, starting from a much lower level, could develop nuclear weapons, why hasn’t Iran?
That overlooked question was the subject of an important but largely ignored past article, “Botching the Bomb: Why Nuclear Weapons Programs Often Fail on Their Own — and Why Iran’s Might, Too” in Foreign Affairs journal.
In the May/June 2012 issue, Jacques E. C. Hymans, an International Relations Associate Professor at the University of Southern California and author of the book Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation (from which his article was adapted) wrote:
Phi Beta Iota: Iran is not a nuclear threat. Anyone that says Iran is a nuclear threat is ignorant or in active betrayal of the public trust.