I always like to read new and mind blowing perspectives on foreign affairs. In addition, I am a dedicated reader of Foreign Affairs for an early age and thus, was more than impatient to read why Kenneth N. Waltz considered that Iran should get the bomb (the nuclear bomb).
The arguments are simple and the essay is short in comparison with what you can really expect in Foreign Affairs - I am wrong to notice that the famous the author the shorter the essay, it is as the fame will exempt you from expanding your arguments based on your well known credentials? In his opinion, Iran should have the bomb because it will create more responsibilities for the authorities in Tehran and will establish a certain nuclear balance in the region with long term effects on the regional stability. It is like a 'wow' effect, isn't it? How did we not realize it and how there are still people that do not realise the simplicity of the solution.
But, wait a minute, are we talking about France or Germany, or any other countries with a clear - at least for the next 5 years - democratic perspectives and clear engagement to respect the international rules of behavior? We are talking about a country where, even though some worries about the degree of mental inadequacy could be overrated, continues to be unpredictable and unreliable in its engagement on behalf of the international community. What about a world free of nuclear power? It does not make too much sense for very practical reasons but maybe I will write more about this on a different occasion.
In an interview for The Diplomat, he explained further his intentions and the perspective on the nuclear balance, but it does not make too much sense from the cultural and historical point of view, as he apparently ignores some basic facts about the reasons why some countries would need to have the bomb and the degree of responsibility in handling it.
Following this week negotiations, Iran looks as a quiet dove interested in the scientific development. But when it comes to the legal obligarions, the situation is apparently a completely different one. You have a region with a high degree of instability and only one democracy - which is not Iran, by the way. Syria presents already a danger for the region due to the significant stockpile of chemical weapons. In addition, we often forget that Iran is a country with frequent earthquakes and as long as it is no reliable control on their nuclear facilities, you risk a bigger tragedy than in the case of Fukushima.
In conclusion, even if I enjoyed reading Waltz' piece of opinion, I dare to say that it does not say too much about the reality and even if it would have been an advertorial it blindly ignores almost every chunk of naked reality.