Last week the p5+1 and Iran outlined the framework of what could be a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing decades-long sanctions. Reactions to the deal ranged from dancing in the streets to doomsday predictions of a new Middle East nuclear arms race. Below you’ll find links to a stockpile of Topic Pages positively radiant with scholarly resources.
Nuclear Nonproliferation: In a classic struggle of bells attempted to be unrung or toothpaste expected to navigate the narrow passage back into its tube, nations have long agreed that there should be fewer nuclear weapons, but that those who have them don’t want to completely abandon their perceived security.
Mutual Assured Destruction: Resembling something from a Kurt Vonnegut novel, this is one of those political doctrines that would be most difficult for humans to explain to an alien race of anthropologists: safety between nuclear powers is greater when both are capable of inflicting the maximum damage upon each other.
Nuclear Energy: Power plants require uranium to be enriched to 4-5% levels, as opposed to weapons which need upwards of 90% enriched uranium. Nuclear reactors can also produce plutonium as a byproduct, and that too can be used in atomic weapons.
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968): This treaty, enforced by the UN pledged that countries with the bomb wouldn’t help bring other nations into the fold, while countries without nukes promised not to pursue them. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned treaty failed to stop India, Pakistan, North Korea, South Africa (which developed and then dismantled a small arsenal) and Israel (allegedly) from joining the nuclear club.
FEMA – 2720 – Photograph by FEMA News Photo.jpg, By FEMA News Photo (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEMA_-_2720_-_Photograph_by_FEMA_News_Photo.jpg
Operation Crossroads Baker Edit.jpg, By United States Department of Defense (either the U.S. Army or the U.S. Navy) derivative work: Victorrocha (Operation_Crossroads_Baker_(wide).jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Operation_Crossroads_Baker_Edit.jpg