Worried about Iran’s nuclear program? well, many of us have been, especially over the last 10 years. Now that a deal has been reached, its going to be more difficult for Iran to make a nuclear weapon, and there is even a lesser chance that if it somehow manages to make a weapon, that it would actually use it.
“As you look at published Russian doctrine, I do believe people are thinking about use of tactical nuclear weapons in a way that hadn’t been thought about for many years,”
The same official went on to say:
“The doctrine clearly talks about it, so it would be irresponsible to not at least read that doctrine, understand what it means. Doctrine certainly doesn’t mean that they would do it, but it would be irresponsible to at least not be thinking through those issues. Any time there is nuclear saber rattling, it is always a concern, no matter where it comes from.”
I am not an alarmist, but the statement “I do believe people are thinking about use of tactical nuclear weapons in a way that hadn’t been thought about for many years” is one which is worth noting.
Mr Pouladi makes a very interesting point, but I am not sure I agree.
Until now, Pakistan has not been a major reason for Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Yes, Pakistan is a primarily Sunni Muslim state and Iran is a Shiite Muslim state. The two have vied for power in places such as Afghanistan. But in none of these differences Pakistan’s nuclear weapon have been a threat to Iran.
The next question which must be asked is: what if there are more cross border attacks from Pakistan inside Iran by armed groups?
Again, I am not sure that’s going to be sufficient reason for Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons.
The only time when Pakistan could turn into a serious threat is if it arms the Saudis with nuclear weapons.
If the reports are true and the Saudis could buy a nuclear weapon off the shelf from Pakistan in response to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, then Iran will not just have one, but two enemies. Proliferation of nuclear weapons from Pakistan to a major enemy of Iran will be no small matter to Iran’s leaders. This could seriously impact Pakistani – Iranian relations.
I think we are very far from the realization of such a scenario. To be honest, I don’t think Iran’s supreme leader Khamenei will ever decide to issue an order to assemble a nuclear weapons. The economic and military costs would be too high.