The Iranian nuclear issue has recently intensified, as the U.S. and its Western allies accuse Iran of actively trying to develop nuclear weapons following a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. While the Iranian government denies these claims and argues that they are only trying to develop a civilian nuclear program, the debate raises a valid question: Can Iran really be blamed for trying to expand its nuclear capabilities? Mehdi Hasan describes the situation from an Iranian’s perspective in The Guardian:
On your eastern border, the United States has 100,000 troops serving in Afghanistan. On your western border, the US has been occupying Iraq since 2003 and plans to retain a small force of military contractors and CIA operatives even after its official withdrawal next month. Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation, is to the south-east; Turkey, America’s Nato ally, to the north-west; Turkmenistan, which has acted as a refuelling base for US military transport planes since 2002, to the north-east. To the south, across the Persian Gulf, you see a cluster of US client states: Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet; Qatar, host to a forward headquarters of US Central Command; Saudi Arabia, whose king has exhorted America to “attack Iran” and “cut off the head of the snake”.