Iran and the Bomb: The Abdication of International Responsibility

Terrorism and Political Violence July-August 2011

Therese Delpesh. Iran and the Bomb: The Abdication of International Responsibility. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. 148 pp, $19.50 paper. ISBN: 978-0-231-70006-1.

The author, a director of strategic studies at the French Atomic Energy Commission and commissioner with the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission, is well placed to independently assess this subject. She succeeds admirably.

Her conclusions are clear: “To sum up, the quest for an atomic weapon is the only credible explanation for the secrecy that surrounded the [Iranian] program, the involvement of the military, the multiple purchases and attempted purchases traced around the world, and Iran’s many lies, ploys and stalling tactics” (p. 15). Thus, she observes, “Iran wants the bomb. But it would like to acquire it while preserving international respectability, avoiding UN sanctions and developing its economy” (p. 95).

On how to engage in negotiations with Iran, her views are precise: “For both America and Europe, it has become obvious that negotiations that are not accompanied by any threat in the event of failure to meet obligations have no chance of success” (p.17).

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