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On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME. Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven 6.5.2013 1.

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Presentation on theme: "On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME. Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven 6.5.2013 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME. Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

2 Academic diplomacy Adresses sensitive issues Questions the reliability and validity of ‘evidence’ Traces causes/drivers Assesses costs and benefits Researches alternative approaches Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

3 Israël: the only nuclear power in ME Has approximately 200 warheads + delivery systems: air force / missile / submarine No overt admission policy = not a member of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons Treaty ( NPT) Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

4 Policy of Israël Pursuit of offensive dominance (conventional and nuclear) Counter proliferation: preemptive strikes against nuclear real or alleged nuclear plants (1981 in Iraq and 2007 attack in Syria) Builds antiballistic missile system Uses nuclear weapons to deter aggression and to dissuade retaliation for its own military interventions Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

5 Iran: nuclear have not Since 70’s – Shah wants nuclear energy capability In 1981 the new government decides to continue nuclear development for energy and medical purposes Increasing pressure from the West to become fully transparent and stop enriching nuclear materials Iran invited IAEA Insists to continue low level enrichment up to 20% (permitted by article IV NPT) 5+1 negotiations Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

6 Nuclear plants Iran Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven Nuclear plants in Germany

7 Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven Nuclear crisis Foreign interference: now and then Denial of root causes of conflicts and of political terrorism Coercive diplomacy and military intervention Verbal wars + absence of official diplomatic relations Non adaptive strategic thinking Big picture of a dangerous crisis

8 External interference in domestic affairs 1953: overthrow of Mossadegh + installation military government headed by Shah Pavlavi 1979: first popular revolution and regime change in the ME: Khomeini Iraq-Iran war ½ - 1 million Iranians dead Diplomatic isolation / sanctions /military threats. It has been called the greatest threat in the world and ranked by the State Department on the ‘sponsors of terrorism list’. This list also includes Cuba. Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

9 Denial of root causes conflicts-political terrorism Internal political-, economic- and demographic problems The use of double standards Support of friendly authoritarian countries & crippling and destruction of unfriendly ones The illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories (Palestine) and Syrian Golan heights + repression of the Palestinian people. Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

10 Coercive diplomacy and military interventions Militarization of Iran’s neighborhood In the 21 st century, the West engaged in more than six wars/military interventions in the region: Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria. The civil war in Syria is a proxy war The interventions resulted in more turbulence, instability and human insecurity of the region and the creation of weak fragile states Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

11 Military in ME Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven IRAN

12 Verbal wars + absence of formal diplomatic relations Scapegoating: Great Satan/Axis of Evil Mutual threats to destroy each other No official diplomatic relations for more than 30 years Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

13 Non-adaptive strategic thinking Offensive dominance Absolute security The prime threat to security in the ME is ‘the West’ itself. The greatest threat lies in the tendency to exaggerate the dangers it faces and to respond by counterproductive belligerence Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven

14 Conclusion A very dangerous crisis Urgently needed – Reestablishment of official diplomatic relations – Replacement of coercive diplomacy and militarization by more effective diplomatic efforts to deal with conflicts in a timely and constructively way, and to prevent violence and build sustainable security for all. Luc Reychler On the creation of a nuclear crisis in the ME KU Leuven


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