A major shortcoming in today’s world is the persistence of a zero-sum sense of geopolitics. The world expected something different in the post-Cold War era to promote peace and stability. Instead, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, momentum swung toward a “global war on terror” that, in practice, became the rationale for maintaining a Cold War mentality and supporting strategies of preemptive war and regime change that have intensified insecurity, instability, and international terrorism.
Consider my country, Iran, which has not invaded any country in the past 250 years. After decades of struggle against dictatorship and foreign domination, we secured our freedom and independence in 1979 by establishing a political system of our own choosing. But instead of establishing friendly relations with Iran based on this new reality, the United States has consistently sought to restore its domination, even providing massive diplomatic, financial, and military support to Saddam Hussein in his war against my country during the 1980’s.
The current dispute over Iran’s peaceful and legal nuclear program is part of this pattern, replete with unfounded accusations, double standards, and moral and legal inconsistency, all hidden behind the alleged threat of proliferation. But Iran’s peaceful nuclear program originates from the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Iran’s energy demand will exceed its supply, possibly reducing or even eliminating its oil export capacity in the near future. Thus, Iran urgently needs to produce 20,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2020.
As long ago as 1973, the US government itself saw that Iran would need nuclear power. Indeed, the US expected that Iran would be capable of generating 20,000 megawatts by 1994. Despite the encouragement of Iran’s civil nuclear program by the US, Britain, Germany, and France, they all ultimately reneged on their contractual commitments after our revolution in 1979. Today, some of these governments are even questioning Iran’s need for nuclear energy – a matter that was obvious to them 30 years ago.