The Instigator
16kadams
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mimshot
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Iran are tryng too making nuclear weapons

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Mimshot
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,077 times Debate No: 21161
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (3)

 

16kadams

Pro

first round acceptance. Our arguments will be: Pro- they are attempting to make nuclear weapons, con- they are not attempting to make nuclear weapons.
Mimshot

Con

Cheers, mate. Thanks for the opportunity to debate this topic. Your challenge suggested you wanted a shared burden of proof. I'll note that it's impossible to prove a negative, but I will make an affirmative argument that the evidence suggests Iran are not trying to make nuclear weapons.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
16kadams

Pro

I. Iran's current program, their proclamations

Iran has announced 2 major advances in their nuclear WEAPONS advancement, both about creating nuclear fuel. [1] [2] They are much closer to making nuclear fuels then the US though. [2] Further more they deny the claim that the plan is only for research. (probably what you will argue) [3].

II. Israels claims

Irans nuclear policy is scaring israel, israel is contemplating military strikes. [4]

"It would seem that Iran is getting closer to having nuclear weapons," Israeli President Shimon Peres said' [4] Now, how do they know? Israel is close, and probably has agents in Iran. They wouldn't be scared if nothing was up, as they think Iran has weapons they are scared. Israel wouldn't be scared for nothing, a sign Iran is up to something big.

III. Evidence

Since the 1970's Iran has been trying to get technology for a nuclear bomb [5]
"We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons, in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons." [6]

Also the UN is preparing to reveal documents proving Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. [7] [8]

"the IAEA says the research includes computer models that could only be used to develop a nuclear bomb trigger." [8]

The UN, is trying to ensure the Nuclear program is peaceful. [9] This implies they suspect it is not peaceful, and that it needs investigation. Also medium level Uranium enrichment has begun in Iran. [10] IAEA said Iran had carried out activities "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device". [10]

As this is first round I made it short and simple, I await your response. Vote PRO.

sources:
http://abcnews.go.com... [1]
http://www.usatoday.com... [2]
http://www.usnews.com... [3]
http://www.usnews.com... [4]
http://iranprimer.usip.org... [5]
http://www.weeklystandard.com... [6]
http://www.foxnews.com... [7]
http://www.bbc.co.uk... [8]
http://www.un.org...= [9]
http://www.bbc.co.uk... [10]
Mimshot

Con

I will argue that the evidence suggests Iran is not actively pursuing nuclear weapons. First I will make the case that purported evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons is very weak. Then I will argue why the good evidence we have leads to the conclusion that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Because this debate relies more on facts than many debate topics, I will be commenting extensively on the sources of my opponent. Consequently, I will use letters for my own sources to keep things clearer.

There are three things, I do not dispute. First, Iran has a nuclear program. I only dispute that they are trying (present tense) to develop nuclear weapons. Second, Israel is trying to bait the U.S. into strikes against Iran. Their motivation really doesn't make sense to me -- I would have thought keeping a strong Shiite power as a counterpoint to the Sunnis on Israel's borders would be to their advantage. But, for whatever reasons, it seems to be happening. Third, there is an intense propaganda campaign in the U.S. to convince its people to be afraid of Iran, possibly to the point of manufacturing support for military operations. This is nothing new. Iran was really scary last presidential election. Remember McCain and his "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" bit[a]? Then America stopped caring for three years and now it's scary again. For whatever reason, Republicans think they have a better chance of wining presidential elections if the topic is foreign policy.

Rebuttal to Evidence of a Nuclear Weapons Program
I. Iran's current program, their proclamations

My opponent cites two sources for this week's announcement from Iran that they could now run their reactor on low enriched uranium (LEU) that was refined in Iran[1,2]. LEU cannot be used in nuclear weapons, but highly enriched uranium HEU can[b,c]. My opponent calls this development a " major advances in their nuclear WEAPONS" (emphasis in the original). However, neither source says that this development is related to weapons. Source 2 doesn't mention weapons at all, and source 1 just mentions as a side note "Washington and its allies say [Iran's program] is aimed at producing a nuclear weapon." No evidence is presented to support this. My opponent also points out that Iran claims the reactor is designed for energy and medical research[3]. He provides no evidence to counter this claim.

One might also ask, why it was necessary for Iran to produce it's own fuel. Iran had previously signed a fuel swap deal with Turkey. Under the deal, Turkey would supply (non weapon's grade [c]) LEU to Iran and Iran would return the spent fuel to Turkey to prevent diversion. The U.S. killed the deal by pressuring Turkey to pull out[e]. So, now, Iran has to make its own fuel.

II. Israel's claims
My opponent notes that because Peres says Iran is "getting closer to having nuclear weapons" it must be true. He says Israel must have some secret agents or something. Yet, Israel has bombed nuclear weapons facilities in Iraq[f] and Syria[g] but not Iran. Again no evidence for an Iranian weapons program is presented.

III. Evidence
In this section my opponent misconstrues six sources to make it look as if they show Iran is developing a bomb, when in fact they do not.


  • [5] actually says "Iran has sought access to the technology that would give it the option to build a nuclear bomb." That is, Iran is trying to develop nuclear power. Nuclear power technology, might one day be used to build a bomb, hypothetically.
  • [6] There is similar misdirection here. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) says in the article "We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons." "Keeping open the option" does not mean "is trying to develop" and actually implies that they are not actively developing weapons.
  • [7,8] Reporters speculate on what an upcoming AIEA report will say. You can read the actual report. It's available at [h]. I'll discuss it further below.
  • Regarding [9] my opponent says "The UN, is trying to ensure the Nuclear program is peaceful." This is true. He then infers that it is not peaceful, a conclusion that doesn't follow and isn't in the source.
  • [10] My opponent confuses "activities relevant to the development" with "development."

Evidence Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons
1. No direct claims
US intelligence services, the UN, and the IAEA do not claim Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons (although U.S. politicians do). If there was convincing evidence of a weapons program, these groups would be singing from the hilltops. Instead, we get carefully worded statements that give the impression that Iran is developing nuclear weapons without actually claiming to have evidence of it. There are several examples of this that I would cite from my opponents sources. The DNI says Iran is "Keeping the option open"[6]. The IAEA says Iran's activities are "relevant" to nuclear weapons. Nobody (with credible evidence) is saying "Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons." For this reason alone, the proposition should fail.

2. Iran is open about its nuclear activities cooperating with the international community
Iran is attempting to cooperate with the international community, at least as far as the U.S. will allow it. We have already seen how the U.S. prevents Iran from having a nuclear program that isn't scary[e]. Iran allows the IAEA to implement non-proliferation safeguards. If you read the actual IAEA report[h] you can see the level of cooperation that still exists. Here are some quotes from that report:


    • "Under the Safeguards Agreement Iran has disclosed to the Agency 15 facilities ... the Agency continues to implement safeguards at these facilities."
    • On the enrichment facilities: "The Agency has concluded that the facility has operated as declared by Iran."
    • "The Agency is unable to provide credible assurance ... and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."


It is that last statement that really sums up the findings. The AIEA cannot prove the negative. This is quite far from evidence of a weapons program.

Also, Iran is open about its nuclear program. The way we know about the recent enrichment breakthrough is that Iran made a public announcement[1,2]. When North Korea and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons, they had very secret programs. Iran's program is out in the open. This openness, which would almost certainly be more open without U.S. interference suggests that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful.

3. It is not in Iran's strategic interest to develop nuclear weapons.
Currently, there is only one country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons: Israel[i]. Israel depends heavily on support of the United States for defense, and the US's UN security council veto. Israel knows that the US population will not support it if it uses nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear power. Iran is safer from Israeli nuclear weapons if Iran does not have nuclear weapons itself. Also, Sunni Saudi Arabia has stated that it will develop nuclear weapons if Iran does. Thus it is contrary to Iran's interest to develop nuclear weapons.

For these and the forgoing reasons, one can conclude that Iran is not currently trying to produce nuclear weapons.

References

[a] video
[b] http://www.nrc.gov...
[c] http://www.fas.org...
[d] http://news.bbc.co.uk...
[e] http://www.guardian.co.uk...
[f] http://news.bbc.co.uk...
[g] http://www.reuters.com...
[h] http://www.iaea.org...
[i] http://www.fas.org...
[j] http://www.foxnews.com...
Debate Round No. 2
16kadams

Pro

I never wanted to debate this and I PM'd him. He asked so I challenged even though I didn't want to debate it, so I am opting out of this debate as it didnt interest me. Sorry vote con
Mimshot

Con

I confirm what he said.
Until next time...
Debate Round No. 3
16kadams

Pro

I hate giving away a loss...

Vote con
Mimshot

Con

vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Duspelt I conceded as I had no interest. No sorry needed
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
"Pro may have been able to rebut Con's rebuttal but FF'd instead."

This implies I could have, but didn't. Anyways thanks I wish you luck as well.
Posted by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
16k:

I didn't imply otherwise... A FF is a FF is a FF... You may have been able to rebut Cons rebuttal but you FF'd instead.. is that not accurate?...

Anyways, good luck on your next debate
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I FF'd because I had no interest not because i was unable to refute
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
What?
Posted by Mimshot 5 years ago
Mimshot
Of course there's a big development in the story after we accepted. At least you had time to get it in.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
short and sweet.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
ugh I do not wanna respond right now :P
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
roflcopter
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
In America the title should read Iran is
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
16kadamsMimshotTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Sorry 16kadams, Mimshot had better arguments and logic.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
16kadamsMimshotTied
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Reasons for voting decision: voting con because both the pro and the con told me too
Vote Placed by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
16kadamsMimshotTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro and Con both had very good opening arguments, with a slight edge to Con. Pro may have been able to rebut Con's rebuttal but FF'd instead.