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The day after Iran goes nuclear

By Julie Bishop - posted Thursday, 29 March 2012

A strategic think tank within Israel recently convened a conference that challenged delegates to consider the implications of “The day after Iran goes nuclear”.

This scenario has greatly troubled people around the world, including the many nations currently imposing strong sanctions against Iran.

It is feared that a nuclear-armed Iranian regime would threaten other countries in the region including Israel and that it would lead to a nuclear arms race as other countries sought to obtain or develop nuclear weapons.


Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak reportedly said that he did not “belong to those who think that if Iran has a nuclear weapon, it will hurry to drop it on a neighbour.”

Barak believed a greater danger was that “a nuclear weapon will reach a terrorist group which will not hesitate to use it immediately. It will send it in a container with a GPS to a leading port in the US, Europe or Israel.”

Iran has consistently denied that it is pursuing nuclear weapons and insists that its current nuclear program is entirely peaceful and for the purposes of power generation, research and medicine.

However, in order to convince the world of its intentions, Iran must be entirely transparent in its operations and cooperate fully with international inspectors and monitors.

Iran has thus far failed to meet that obligation and there have been serious and legitimate concerns about some of Iran's nuclear activities which indicate the pursuit of weapons capability.

One of the key concerns relates to activities at the Iranian military base at Parchin, a centre for weapons development.


A team of senior officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency held discussions in Iran on 20 and 21 February this year and formally requested for permission to visit Parchin.

Iranian officials refused that request and added to the suspicion about Iran's nuclear intentions.

Iran must explain why it has refused to grant full access to international inspectors, if, as it claims, there is nothing to hide and the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

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About the Author

Julie Bishop is the Federal Member for Curtin, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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