Iran's Nuclear Option: Tehran's Quest For The Atom Bomb / Edition 1

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In October 2003 the Islamic Republic of Iran admitted that it had secretly been producing highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium. This revelation shocked the world, as did Iran's further confession that it had been pursuing a clandestine nuclear program for nearly two decades. Throughout 2004, the UN and leading European nations tried to persuade Tehran to abandon its efforts to gain a nuclear weapons capability. As Washington and Tel Aviv looked on, however, the larger question became how to verify the good faith of an avowedly hostile nation, and if all else failed, how to pre-empt the threat by force.

In Iran's Nuclear Option: Tehran's Quest for the Atom Bomb, Al J. Venter lays out in meticulous detail the mullah regime's silent march toward acquiring nuclear weapons. He first describes the nature of the Iranian regime, which evolved from the Islamic revolution of 1979. He then turns to the mechanics of Iran's nuclear program, its acquisitions through the international black market, and the technological problems it has steadily overcome. He also examines Iran's missile program, developed with the help of North Korea, its unconventional weapons, and Tehran's record of fostering terrorism through the auspices of its fanatic Pasdaran military arm.

Of special interest in this book is a rare look at a rogue nuclear weapons program that once succeeded. In tracing the development of atomic weapons in his native South Africa, the author provides a grim case example of what the Iranian regime is capable of achieving, as well as a glimpse of the new diaspora of nuclear scientists flung off by the end of Apartheid.

In this new millennium to date, the West has repeatedly been surprised, both tactically and strategically, by developments rising from within the world of Islam. In this book the facts are laid out in stark detail, along with their politco-historical context, and an analysis of the ambitions the Islamic Republic of Iran holds for the future.

Drawing on numerous expert sources as well as his own wealth of firsthand experience, Al J. Venter provides us with a clear warning about the crisis that lies just beyond the current horizon in the Middle East. Filled with scholarship, insight, and a cold-eyed view of developing events, Iran's Nuclear Option is essential reading for the public and Western policymakers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Jerusalem Political Studies Review
an outstanding survey of the threats the present Iranian regime poses to the world. One of this books great strengths is how carefully Venter documents Iran's efforts to obtain parts and personnel for weapons building . . . .shows clearly and convincingly why stopping Iran's nuclear program is a cardinal interest not only for any particular state, but for humanity as a whole.
Middle East Quarterly
the place to turn for technical details and footnoted references . . . offers the most systematic exposition to date about Iran's nuclear program and its role in world affairs . . .
. . . of great interest to anyone watching the current nuclear proliferation problem . . .
The National Interest
. . . a chilling insight into the scope and sophistication of Iran's concerted, multi-decade quest for the atomic bomb . . . a sobering blow by blow account of how Tehran managed diplomatically to stall, mislead and confound the IAEA . . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932033335
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/18/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Foreword xiii
Introduction 1
Part I The Islamic Republic of Iran
1 Iran: Its People and Government 27
2 The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988 45
3 Iran's Shi'ites: Provocative and Driven 67
Part II Iran's Nuclear Pursuits
4 How Close is Iran to Building an A-Bomb? 85
5 Doomsday Scenario 109
6 Iran's Multi-Stemmed Centrifuge Program: An Overview 131
7 Nuclear Link-up: South Africa and Iran 151
8 Case Study: South Africa's Atom Bomb 175
Part III Iran's Troubled Role in World Affairs
9 Building Guided Missiles to Hit Israel 195
10 Iran's History of Terror 213
11 Iran's Unconventional Weapons 237
12 Pasdaran: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps 253
13 What's Next? 271
Appendix A The Russia-Iran Nuclear Connection 299
Appendix B IAEA Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran 315
Appendix C Iran's Economy and Oil and Gas Resources 325
Appendix D How Saddam Hussein Almost Built His Bomb 341
Appendix E Close-Quarter Observations: The South African Nuclear Weapons Program 359
Appendix F Iran's Missiles: Devils in the Detail 373
Appendix G Pasdaran's Protege: Hizbollah 383
Acronyms, Technical, Arabic, and Persian Words and Phrases 403
Acknowledgments 413
Notes 423
Index 439
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