SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The technical and political evidence that Iran is seeking to establish a ‘nuclear hedging’ capability has gradually increased over the past nine years. The regime in Tehran has continued to insist that its nuclear ambitions are purely civilian in nature and it has resisted the international community's dual-track policy, encompassing both negotiations and sanctions, to persuade Iran to be fully transparent about its nuclear activities and plans, and to suspend work related to uranium enrichment and plutonium separation. While the prospects for a negotiated solution currently appear slim, the regime does not yet appear to have decided whether, or when, to produce nuclear weapons and to break out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is essential, therefore, to maintain and if necessary to build up the pressure on Iran and to strengthen efforts to disrupt its procurement of technology and materials for its nuclear programme. It is also imperative for the international community to maintain negotiations and also consider alternative diplomatic approaches to enhance the prospects of keeping Iran focused purely on civil nuclear ambitions, while at the same time resolving questions related to the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programme.