Should Iran be allowed Nuclear Weapons?
(I am new to the website, so I apologize in advance if I do something wrong)
Before we start, I'd like to point out that this turned into a debate about a topic rather than 1 specific question.
I'm not actually ready for this, but OK, let's do this.
In addition to this, Iran have stated that they don't think that nuclear weapons would be beneficial to Iran (4), pointing out that Iran is content with or afraid of all its neighbors, as well as the fact that they have called for a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East several times (in 1974, 2006 and 2008). In the same article, Salehi points out that progress shouldn't be stopped, just because one day something bad might be developed.
Iranians have clarified that they can enrich up to 100%, but haven't done so, because they don't need to (5). It's entirely possible that the government is lying (wouldn't surprise me at all), but if that was the case, it wouldn't make sense that they are saying that it's against their religion publicly, especially considering the value of religion in a state called the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The 1000-year Muslim Empire? There are legitimate concerns that Iran (similar to WW2 Germany) wants to spread Islam around the world by any means necessary. This would eliminate my argument that Iran wouldn't use nuclear weapons even if it did have any. However, there are indications that Iran is simply run by a dictatorship which is ruthless in keeping its control of the country, rather than a terrorist organization. There is currently no way of knowing the true intentions of the government, unless international intelligence finds something.
The way that the US has handled the negotiations is more of the same shambles. Why is this not over already? Well, firstly, the government has very little trust of the US. International access will be limited as long as relations are the same. Iraq was invaded on the grounds that it held weapons of mass destruction, which was then proved to be false. Many Iranians believe that the US is using the same excuse to rid itself of the problem that Iran has been since the revolution.
During this round, I mention the US a lot, because it’s the biggest player in this game, but this is not just the US. The 5 permanent members of the UN and Germany (otherwise known as P5+1) are all in this together. The P5+1 have repeatedly called for Iran to stop enriching uranium all together. The Iranians, a proud race, refused to buckle under sanctions and carried on. Only when public unrest got to really dangerous levels did the government fold. This really only worsened relations between the US and Iran.
As mentioned earlier, the Iranians have (as they call it) a "right to enrich". Enrichment of uranium doesn't necessarily mean a nuke. Instead of acknowledging this, the P5+1 have just carried on putting more and more financial pressure on Iranian civilians. As a result, the negotiations have gone nowhere. The P5+1 have to accept that Iran has a right to enrich uranium, and instead of childishly spamming the same action, work with the Iranians to make sure that they can't covertly build nukes. At a time when the Middle East is falling apart, Iran could well be the key for the P5+1 to save the region.
More irony, more shambles. In (4), a former US official says: "No matter how many times Iran signs the additional protocol, we will keep up our pressure until Iran yields to a political détente." This is not only unfair, but hugely ironic. If the US relaxes its choke-hold on Iran, by lifting sanctions and allowing uranium enrichment under strict conditions, it will lead to better relations between them – which is exactly what a détente is. By blindly pursing the same path and hoping for different results, the P5+1 is getting absolutely nowhere.
I've tried to outline my findings and opinions as coherently as possible. I am doing this as practise for a speech, in which I will be arguing both sides of the argument. I'd appreciate any tips you could give me, and once again, I apologise that the debate turned into one about a topic rather than the question. I hope that the hyperlinks work. Lastly, I used Wikipedia extensively for this, and I cite that I have.
Jellon forfeited this round.
(I saw this somewhere else on another debate so I believe this is what you have to write when the other person forfeits.)
I give my opponent more time to respond.
First I would like to address the topic of this debate at a high level: Should Iran be allowed Nuclear Weapons. In order to define what "should" and "should not" occur, let us assume to agree on common moral principles. Let us agree that Initiating bloodshed, or the attempt there of, is immoral unless ones survival depends on it. Assuming an absolute standard of morality exists, this may not be the correct moral standard, but for purposes of this debate, we must agree to something. This provides a reasonable standard and does not contradict the standard proposed by atheist Sam Harris (1).
Pro has admitted to Iran's history of misrepresenting the truth.
"I'm not saying Iranians are all angels. There have been breaches of treaties and agreements, and things which have been hidden. However, when Iran has breached regulations, it has generally made up for it."
Similar comments have been made by Pro suggesting that Iran should not be considered trustworthy. Pro gave references to interviews with Iranian representatives claiming that they are not interested in nuclear weapons, but these references do not provide evidence that Iran is telling the truth. His links were 2 and 3.
Pro: "US Intelligence, e.g. (1), suggests that Iran hasn't built any warheads, although it also suggests research has been done into it. In fact, Iran launched a nuclear weapons program in the 1950s, under the guidance of the US, UK and France, as part of the Atoms for Peace program (2) (3)."
Again, the references Pro provided showed that the countries listed were aiding Iran in developing peaceful nuclear energy. In order for Iran to participate in the Atoms for Peace program, they were required to promise not to develop nuclear weapons, which Pro claims in that same quote that they were attempting to do. If our intelligence shows that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons, but it says it isn't, then we have even less reason to trust them. It doesn't help their case that they are not cooperating with basically anyone in regard to proving they are not trying to build nuclear weapons (2). This has been going on for years, but it wasn't until 2 days ago (after this very debate started) that Iran declared it was finally willing to cooperate with investigations into its nuclear program (3). In the past, Iran has been offered nuclear energy multiple times by multiple countries, but has rejected all the offers (9). But all I have shown is that Iran is likely lying about its desire for nuclear weapons, that does not directly show that they should not have them. So to be explicit, if Iran is lying about their desire for nuclear weapons, then they likely have something to hide. If they have something to hide, then it's probably not in the best interest of Iran's enemies. So I argue that if Iran feels it must lie about its nuclear weapon program, then it is likely a threat to peace in the world (which I will provide a positive argument for later) and thus they should not have nuclear weapons.
The official religion in Iran is Shia Islam (4). This shows how much power this sect of Islam has in the Iranian government. We also know that Shia Islam is waiting for the return of the 12th Imam (aka Mahdi). Iran has so much as said it is preparing for the return of Mahdi (5) (6) (7). Two of those sources are conservative Christian, but the last is CNN. This is an important point, because one of the prophecies that come before the return of Mahdi is that there will be death on such a large scale that, "rivers will flow with blood from the dead" (8). I will point out that the cited source comes from a Muslim.
So in conclusion, Iran has repeatedly shown itself to intentionally misrepresent the truth. It has repeatedly turned down offers from other nations to supply it with nuclear energy. It has broken contracts to start nuclear weapons research. It has lied about its nuclear weapons research. It has a religious ideology that desires to fulfill a prophecy about large scale death, and has publicly stated its intention to fulfill said prophecy. There is a mountain of evidence that Iran's nuclear weapons initiative is not a peaceful one. If we should have peace in the world, the evidence shows that Iran should not have nuclear weapons.
KhosroTheGreat forfeited this round.
KhosroTheGreat forfeited this round.
Pro and I agree that Iran should be allowed nuclear power if they so choose. Given the arguments presented, please vote on whether or not you believe Iran should be allowed nuclear weapons. It would be nice if you provide who you sided with before and after.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||3|