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Iran: “security dilemma” in action
Material posted: Publication date: 12-01-2012

Many researchers “the security dilemma” I agree that it is valid only under certain circumstances in a certain world order. Thus, all accepted the version that this theory works effectively in a multipolar world, the clearest evidence of which is the development of world politics in the period extending from the peace of Westphalia until world war II.

The most obvious manifestation of the dilemma, in our opinion, is the developments in the eve of the First World war, when in the absence of a global hegemon powers were forced to maneuver in order not to remain in alienation. As a result, they have created alliances to ensure their own security. The dilemma here is that for all parties, without exception more favorable system without alliances because membership implies a certain obligations. However, all acted the same principle - where is the guarantee that if I do not create or will not enter into any Alliance, the same will be done by others? And so, the fear of being in alienation, forced States to sacrifice their potentially optimal benefit and to create situations that were disadvantageous to anyone.

However, the spiral of the security dilemma” more and more unfolded after the creation of alliances. For example, after the conclusion of the agreement between England and France, Germany took this step, as directed against its interests and immediately began to take steps to create your own counter-Alianza.

This situation was part of the result of the aggressive promises on both sides, or misinterpretation of these promises.

The reform resulted in unprecedented arms race, which as a result of wrong perception of reality (belief that the privilege of the first strike would lead to a decisive advantage in the coming war) and local provocation has led humanity to one of the largest bloodshed in History.

In the thirties of the XX century, the dilemma worked in the opposite direction. The reluctance and the fear of England and France (under the influence of memories from the recent disaster) to give negative and aggressive signals to Hitler led them to a situation when it is not in their power to keep it under control.

Another feature of the “security dilemma” in a multipolar world was the internal dilemma between allied countries, which is called “the Alliance game”. The gist of it is that even allies are forced to use special tactics in the relations between themselves, in order to avoid a situation where the partner has a desire to change friends or in order to be sure that in the case of a direct conflict with the enemy he will have the full support of the allies.

History has shown that in the bipolar world, many aspects of the dilemma, which operated in a multipolar system, not acted. So, almost impossible was the situation during the Cold war, when any country has changed its political course and joined to the opposite block. But fully worked “security dilemma” between the two opposing blocks, when the arms race reached its climax.

Now a brief account of the historical aspects of the “security dilemma”, I would like to move on to the present day and to consider the situation around Iran and its hypothetical nuclear bomb under the prism reviewed by us dilemma.

First and foremost, you need to determine which is a world system in this period of History.

I believe that with each passing year, it becomes clear that the days of sole hegemony in world politics was left far behind. However, the situation becomes less obvious when we're trying to focus on a particular region.

In General we can agree that multi-polarity is the new undisputed milestone in the history of the world.

So, if we accept the basis of the Iranian case of a multipolar model, we can see these nuances.

On the one hand there is the US Alliance with Israel, and the United States with the countries of the Persian Gulf, and on the other hand if you wish you can notice the Alliance of Iran and Syria. However, cooperation between Iran and Syria is a classical example of the Alliance, as there are no serious mutually binding agreements between these countries. Therefore, it is obvious that in this case, “the security dilemma” can be seen only in a particular context of Iran on the one hand and Israel with the United States on the other.

It is likely that creating nuclear weapons in "Tacitus consensus" "big brothers" from across the ocean, Israel was primarily thinking of his own safety, and this step was the development of another dilemma - between Israel and the Arab world.

But it is quite obvious and the fact that it was a great aggressive message to Iran, which, of course, interpreted this signal as directed directly against him. In this situation, creating your own weapons of mass destruction, though not optimally profitable option, but, of course, is today a necessity for the Islamic Republic. From the moment awareness begins to act on the present “security dilemma”.

Both sides, realizing the unfavorable situation, however, spending huge sums to strengthen its combat capability. An important component of deterrence is radically aggressive rhetoric from both sides, which really only adds fuel to the fire “raging” dilemma. From the United States the situation is heated by the continued threats of war and economic sanctions.

Last turn, the dilemmas become military exercises, Iran test ballistic missiles and threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. This revolution may well transform into the point of no return for the given, specific case.

Of course, it is possible to speculate that Iran is not Iraq and not Afghanistan, and the US does not have a “function first strike” against Iran, and what the possible benefits may be insignificant in relation to the potential losses (economic - for the United States and military-economic-political - Israel), but as you know, the essence of the “security dilemma” is that in politics sometimes you have to make unprofitable and illogical decisions in order to avoid the worst case scenario, which, in this case for the us-Israeli Alliance is an Iranian nuclear weapon.

However, not wanting to finish your essay on such a pessimistic note, I might suggest (with reference to “Foreign policy journal”) Mr. Obama in the coming year to take the first step to easing the situation and, at least at the level of official rhetoric, to exclude the possibility of military solution of the question (which does not exclude the real possibility of an adequate response). It is hoped that Tehran would reciprocate.


Tigran Grigoryan

Tags: Iran , USA

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