Effects of Iran’s nuclear activities on its economy, any other country’s economy and its relationships with its friends and trading partners Essay

Abstract

Iran’s nuclear activities have faced a lot of opposition from most countries of the world because of the numerous implications that come with indulging in nuclear activities - Effects of Iran’s nuclear activities on its economy, any other country’s economy and its relationships with its friends and trading partners Essay introduction. However, it is apparent that Iran’s president Mahmoud, is not about to give up in his ambitions for nuclear ambitions. The purpose of this paper, is to critically examine and analyze the effects of Iran’s nuclear activities on its economy, other countries and relationships with its friends and trading partners. This paper employs the use of varied case studies to come up with credible findings. The findings of this paper will add to the existing literature on effects of Iran’s nuclear activities on its economy and relationship with its friends and trading partners. Scholars can refer to the findings of this research paper for reference and purposes.

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Chapter One

Introduction

Iran’s indulgence in nuclear activities has sparked a lot of debate from both developed and developing countries because of fears that the nuclear project might be used as weapons of mass destruction.  Studies show that, the major concerns tabled, are more concerned with international security, international relations and the effect of nuclear activities on world economies (Barnaby, 2007). For example, misusing nuclear powers could lead to adverse effects leading to millions of deaths and destructions of millions of investments. In that manner, many countries are concerned that years of invaluable efforts directed at building solid economies may be reduced to nothing if nuclear weapons are produced and used against other nations. Consequently, by allowing Iran to prevail in its nuclear weapons there are major concerns that other countries prone to ‘terrorism breeding’ will also insist on indulging in nuclear products and to some extent endanger the security of the whole world. The thesis and purpose of this paper is that ‘Iran’s nuclear activities are pertinent issues which need to be analyzed critically and thought clearly before taking any sides.’

This study found out that nuclear activities do not necessarily have to lead to adverse effects but may be used as alternative sources of energy and hence lead to sustainable development (Barnaby, 2007). For example, President Bush was quoted asserting that nuclear power is a renewable source of energy and at the same time help in meeting the obligations of clean air requirements (Bennhold, 2004). In this light, if Iran is serious about using its nuclear products safely then there is a big possibility that the economy of Iran may benefit to some extend. However, currently there are sanctions placed on the country by the UN because of the fears that Iran may produce nuclear weapons against its enemies and more especially Israel which is hated by Iran’s president Mahmoud (IPPR, 2007). UN sanction on Iran have left the economy shaky and there is doubt if Iran’s nuclear activities will be easily sustained by the current economy (Barnaby, 2007).

Problem statement

Memories of nuclear weapons attacks have left many people petrified of Iran’s nuclear activities. Many people do not understand the positive implications of nuclear activities but are more fearful of the negative implications of nuclear activities (IPPR, 2007). With that in mind, many countries do not approve Iran’s indulgence of nuclear activities since they are afraid of the negative implications of nuclear activities for example production of nuclear weapons for military and terrorism use. Iran’s nuclear activities have become the epicenter of heated debates from nations around the world since is perceived that Iran’s nuclear activities will lead to more harm than good. However, research also shows that there are various advantages, which come along with nuclear activities, and when used for the common good nuclear stations can highly benefit man (Barnaby, 2007).

Purpose and objectives of this paper

This paper seeks to fulfill the following purposes and objectives;

This paper seeks to establish the effects of Iran’s nuclear activities on its economy and other countries
This paper seeks to analyze the effects of Iran’s nuclear activities on the relationships of Iran and its friends and trade partners
A main aim of this paper is to critically analyze the pros and cons of nuclear activities on Iran’s economy
Scope and limitation

This paper will be limited to Iran’s nuclear activities, the effects of Iran’s nuclear activities on its economy and that of other countries and the effects on the relations of Iran and its friends and other business partners.

Chapter Two

Literature review

Iran’s declaration that it was determined to undertake nuclear activities were met with a lot of criticism from around the world. This paper found out that many nations are more concerned with the negative implications of nuclear activities for example, the production of nuclear weapons for terrorism and military purposes (Barnaby, 2007). However, nuclear power also comes with many advantages for instance the production of sustainable energy. This paper seeks to look at both the positive and negative side of Iran’s nuclear power production on its economy and trade ties.

Positive implications of Iran’s nuclear activities to its economy and the economies of other countries

 There are growing concerns that Iran’s energy sector is not very stable as a result of reduced gas prices making the country reduce its supply of gasoline in a bid to try and save energy (Barnaby, 2007). In this light, Iran faces the indomitable decision of finding alternative sources of energy meant to substitute the available ones. A review of Iran’s economy shows that the country’s economy has remained weak and is characterized by unemployment, inflation and lower per capita income (Barnaby, 2007). Iran, needs to find amicable ways of finding reliable source of energy vital to ensure that its social economic status is stabilized. The UN has already placed sanctions on Iran because of its interest in nuclear activities and the sanctions have affected the economy negatively to some extend (Bennhold, 2004). Lower prices of oil could force the country to go for loans, which are not a healthy way of sustaining an ailing economy. On the other hand, the countries Iran borrow from may have strained relations if the loans are not paid back on time and as agreed to economical hardships.

Nuclear energy is capable of producing a safe energy source, which is a core ingredient in protecting the environment (SDC, 2006). In this manner, Iran’s economy will highly benefit from nuclear activities since operational costs on effects of greenhouse, which are responsible for poor health, and depletion of natural habitats. The use of fossil fuels for example, coal and gas are responsible for increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to the depletion of ozone and with which negative implications for instance adverse climatic changes come along (Abbott, Rogers, Sloboda, 2006).

This paper asserts that, Iran’s economy stands to benefit a lot from nuclear power, which is a safe alternative to energy needs. Currently, many countries are more concerned about reliable energy sources and although Iran produces oil, there is also need for alternative energy sources for example nuclear power.  Studies reveal that, the use of nuclear electricity power is bound to enhance cleaner electric vehicles transportation and at the same time ensure higher hydrogen production in seawater, which is vital for fresh water recovery (Albrigh, Berghout, Walker, 1997). In this manner, Iran stands to boost its transportation sector to significant levels and hence improve its social economic status. To its friends, Iran could disseminate the same tactics for use of nuclear power and create solid partnerships meant for a balanced social economic development. On the other hand, Iran will be able to improve its oil exports to other trade partners since it has alternative energy sources.

All over the world, it is apparent that new oil deposits are not usually, discovered at the pace of oil consumption, which is a main source of energy production. Studies, show that oil consumption is very high leading to growing concerns that the production of energy in the future is very unpredictable and hence the need to look for other alternatives of oil production (Barnaby, 2005). Although Iran produces oil, the oil reserves it has cannot be argued to last for many decades especially with the growing demand for oil products. In this light, to some extend Iran is justified in its endeavor to look for alternative sources of energy so that it can plan for future demand of energy important for domestic and industrial use. The environmental consequences, which come along with fossil burning, are adverse according to various studies done (Barnaby, 2005). For example, the carbon dioxide produced is capable of leading to adverse effects of the climate. The world is highly relies on agricultural products for consumption and hence the need to ensure that the climate is well taken care of. Research shows that nuclear energy produces minute amounts of carbon dioxide and other toxics like sulfur compared to the burning of fossil fuels like coals (Royal Society, 2007). On the other hand, the end products of nuclear waste or specifically the waste is smaller, making nuclear power more efficient than fossil fuel.

Studies also show that nuclear power is reliable since its use can be extended over a long period with a guarantee of consistency in energy provided. The US has already done significant successful studies, which reveal that base load power is readily available and in most cases can be gauged over 90% of the time (Royal Society, 2007). Iran’s nuclear activities if used for peaceful purposes will ensure that the country highly benefits from a constant supply of nuclear power. On the other hand, nuclear power costs can be argued to be much more competitive and stable (Makhijani, 2001). In this light, Iran will not have to worry about escalating nuclear power prices as compared to oil prices. Currently the world is in turmoil over escalating prices of oil and fossil fuels, which to a big extend have affected transportation of common subjects who do not have viable economic sources (Barnaby, 2005). In the light of the above, Iran can finally find a lasting solution to the negative implications of escalating prices of oil on its economy. Other studies also reveal that uranium is found anywhere in the crust of the earth and that is a guarantee that the prices of nuclear power will be much affordable. The nuclear power produced can also be used to fuel industries in Iran and leading to improved standards of living. Consequently, nuclear power stations are very compact and they do not occupy large spaces compared to oil stations (Bows et al, 2006). In this light, Iran will not have to use large spaces for its nuclear power stations. The only major challenge are larger spaces for the fear of unknown in terms of leaking radiations which may affect the humans incase they are exposed to them. If Iran succeeds with its nuclear power activities, other nations may also opt to use produce nuclear power for peaceful means like social economic growth and development.

Negative implications of Iran’s nuclear activities to its economy other countries and its relations with friends and trading partners

Currently many parts of the world are tense because of Iran’s indulgence in nuclear activities. The main reason for the anxiety and tension created stems from the negative implications of nuclear products. For example, in the famous world war II the world almost came to a stand still after the attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons leaving scores of civilians dead and millions worth of property destroyed (IPPR, 2007). In light of the above, many countries are worried that economies, build for decades may one day be reduced to nothing incase of attacks from Iran’s nuclear plants sparking a lot of anxiety in both developed and developing countries. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been known for his hatred of the Israel nation and is known for hate sentiments for instance Israel ‘should be wiped from the face of the earth’ and that leaves many wondering the presidents objective in indulging in nuclear activities (Barnaby, 2007).

Iran’s nuclear activities may spark a lot of tension between it and its close friends and neighbors. There is no guarantee that, the nuclear stations will be safe for the people of Iran, or even for close neighbors, should an accident occur at the nuclear station sites. On the other hand, studies show that terrorism gangs may target nuclear sites for attack something, which could have overwhelming negative effects to not only Iran but also its neighbors and the world at large (Barnaby, 2007). Such instances are prone to affecting the economy of Iran profoundly in reference to the amount of resources lost and cost or replacing them again. Other studies also show that, due to intricate composition of nuclear components a disruption is enough to cause worse implications to the nuclear station (IPPR, 2007). This paper asserts that nuclear activities of Iran could have climatic benefits but then it is also imperative that the security implications are also analyzed critically to avoid major future disruptions. Critics of Iran’s nuclear power argue that indulging in nuclear activities could lead to serious security issues. For example, if Iran is left to continue with its nuclear activities, the possibility of countries for example Afghanistan taking part in the same in unpredictable. There are other alternatives which can be used to counter the challenge of oil facing the earth currently like using fossil oils and findings a solution to their dangerous emissions.

Consequently, other major concerns are that even if Iran is serious about peaceful nuclear production plants there is a question of potential theft by groups with bad intentions (Barnaby, 2005). Such security threat is enough to make the world fearful of the implications of negative use of nuclear weapons on people and the effects on their economies. Iran’s president is known to have a cause of disagreement, with his Israel counterparts and there are concerns that Iran’s nuclear powers could be used for military purposes and thus compromise security of the whole world.

Chapter Three

Methodology

According to Moller & Halinen, methodology is a plan for collecting, organising and integrating collected data so that a result can be reached (2000). In this part of the paper, I will discuss the strategy for research, different research methods, techniques, collections and ways of analysing data.

Research Strategy

In this research, strategy was depended on the nature of problem, implications of the problem and the result of the research. This study sought to analyse aspects like ‘how and why’ questions in terms of the effect of Iran’s nuclear activities to its economy, other countries and the relations with foes and trade partners. The advantage of this study stems from the fact that there is a wide range of materials available on the subject of Iran’s nuclear activities, which has become a subject of much concern in the whole world. Cases studies were greatly been employed for the success of this paper since they are feasible tools in analysing Iran’s nuclear activities.

Collecting Evidence

In this research, the evidence was collected through quantitative research commonly referred to as the secondary data. Quantitative data comprised of published data from previous research and materials concerning the Iran’s nuclear activities, studies on the pros and cons of nuclear power, history of Iran and pertinent issues facing the economy of Iran. Various sources were employed in the success of this paper to avoid research biasness and at the same time enhance the credibility of the study.  The research commenced by reviewing various case studies on Iran’s nuclear activities and the implications to its economy, other countries and its relations with friends and trading partners.

Quality of the design

For this research to be effective and successful, the quality of the research had to be high. To test quality of the research reliability was revisited and analysed. Validity according to this research was to ensure that the findings derived from the research were valid and applicable. For example, the secondary data collected through out the research was relevant to the problem being researched. To check validity I employed various concepts for example the use of varied data and case studies on the subject Iran’s nuclear power. Data was collected before the start of the study to avoid time wastage and get enough time to ensure that all the materials were read widely. To avoid plagiarism, all borrowed materials were well referenced and at the same paraphrased accordingly.  A well-done research should ensure that the findings and results can be proved by other research studies carried out and this study ensured that the findings of this paper were credible.

Chapter Four

Results and finding

‘Iran’s nuclear activities are pertinent issues which need to be analyzed critically and thought clearly before taking any sides.’ The findings of this study were rather interesting and intriguing. For example, this study found out that despite Iran’s oil productivity it is currently affected by low prices of oil, which are affecting the countries economy negatively to a great extend. For example, the country has resolved into reducing the prices of gasoline for consumption causing a lot of strain to its subjects. On the other hand, the use of nuclear power will greatly help in providing for alternative energy, which is highly needed to boost economic growth.

Consequently, the use of nuclear weapons will ensure a cheap source of energy for Iran and at the same time ensure energy that is free from carbon dioxide and other impurities produced by fossil fuels and oils. The following table is a summary of the findings;

Advantages of Iran’s nuclear activities to its economy, economies of other countries and relations with friends and trading partners
Disadvantages of Iran’s Nuclear weapons to its economy, economies of other countries and relations with friends and trading partners
Iran will get an alternative source of energy which is important to substitute the depleting levels of oil in the country and help the economy to grow
Production nuclear energy will be cheaper for Iran compared to oil which is way too expensive thus leading to significant social economic growth
Production of nuclear energy will ensure a constant and reliable supply of energy highly needed for social economic development
Nuclear energy ensures that the atmosphere is well protected since there are not emissions of dangerous gases from its consumption and hence the preservation of climate and environment.
There is a greater threat of Iran’s nuclear energy being channeled to military use which is detrimental in terms of security purposes. For example if Iran decides to use nuclear weapons the negative implications created could be irreversible. The Iranian president is known for his hate sentiments towards Israel which he thinks should be wiped from the face of the earth and hence the growing anxiety and concern that nuclear weapons may be produced to harm Israel.
There are major concerns that Iran’s nuclear activities could be major targets by terrorist groups who may steal nuclear materials and use them with the wrong intentions. The  memories of Nagasaki and Hiroshima are still fresh in the minds of people and a repeat of the same could be fatal
There could also be accidents at the nuclear stations, which could lead to various negative implications for example death and injury of scores of people and severe regression to the existing economy.
There are no conclusive studies on the long-term effects in the health of human beings because of indulging in nuclear activities. For example, incurable diseases like cancer cannot be overruled and hence the need to take more precautions.
There are concerns that the government of Iran may overlook other sectors and focus more on nuclear production and hence affect their economy negatively
Incase of  major oppositions to Iran’s nuclear activities, nations affiliated with Iran may face sanctions from other opposing countries and hence suffer negatively in terms of their economies
(Table 1)

From the findings, it is apparent that the negative implications of Iran’s nuclear indulgence are more, compared to the positive side. For example, this study computes the pros of Iran’s nuclear power production to represent 40% and the cons to represent 60%. Below is a graphical representation of the findings;

(Figure 1)                                                                  Key

1-      The negative implications

2-      The positive implications

Chapter Five

Discussion and limitation

This study asserts that many nations have not critically analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power before strongly opposing the move by Iran to undertake nuclear activities. However, from the history of Iran and other security concerns; for example Iran’s president hatred towards Israel, there is need to ensure that measures are taken accordingly in responding to the issue of Iran’s nuclear activities. This section will be analyzed by using the following hypothesis created for this study;

1-      Iran stands to benefit greatly from the production of nuclear energy which will be an alternative to its depleting oil

2-      Iran does not guarantee that the nuclear powers will be used for peaceful purposes from past evidence

3-      Other nations may suffer greatly in case of accidents in Iran’s nuclear stations or even use of nuclear weapons

Discussion

Hypothesis one- Iran stands to benefit greatly from the production of nuclear energy, which will be an alternative to its depleting oil

This paper found out that Iran currently faces major challenges in oil production and pricing. In the light of the above nuclear power may be a good substitute to the oil energy since it is cheap reliable and safe. With the increasing consumption of energy, there is need to look for alternative sources of energy will ensure that Iran’s economy is sustained, and open to expansion. Reliable energy is vital for any country that is willing to take part in industrial growth to mention a few. Studies reveal that, Iran has a point in deciding to use nuclear energy as an alternative source of energy (Barnaby, 2007).

Hypothesis two- Iran does not guarantee that the nuclear powers will be used for peaceful purposes from past evidence

A major concern of many nations is that there is  not assurance that Iran will use its nuclear power for peaceful reasons. For example, there are growing concerns that terrorists may target nuclear stations so that they can cause considerable harm to harmless people by blowing up such stations (Barnaby, 2005). On the other hand, terrorist groups may also steal nuclear components and use them to harm other human beings. Iran is not predictable as to whether it will not use the nuclear products for military purposes since the pros of military power do not supersede the cons of Iran’s indulgence to nuclear activities.

Hypothesis three- Other nations may suffer greatly in case of accidents in Iran’s nuclear stations or even use of nuclear weapons

In cases where Iran defies the protocols set for use of nuclear power and decides to use the nuclear power for negative purposes, the chances that other nations will suffer are very great. On the other hand, sanctions placed on Iran due to production of nuclear weapons may also be extended to its close allies and trade partners.

Limitations of the study

The research on nuclear activities is not yet conclusive in terms of the long-term effects of indulging in nuclear production. There is need for more research in the field of nuclear materials. Consequently, there ought to be clear set guidelines on who should undertake nuclear activities and also state why. In this manner, countries, which are not eligible, will have a clear understanding as to why they are not allowed to undertake nuclear activities.

This study was also limited in terms of time since there are numerous productive sources on the subject of Iran’s nuclear products, which could not be covered within the time frame of this research paper. All in all the quality of the findings of this study was not compromised since significant sources were employed.

Conclusion

The issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons is a pertinent issue, which has sparked a lot of anxiety, fear, confusion and outrage among many nations. However, this study suggests that there is need to look at both the positive and negative side of Iran’s nuclear activities on its economy, the economy of other countries and its relations with friends and trade partners. In this manner, conclusive decisions can be made as to whether to allow Iran to produce nuclear power or not. For example, this study found out that nuclear power is cheap, renewable and highly efficient, climatic friendly and Iran and other nations could greatly benefit from its use. Consequently, this paper found out that there are numerous negative implications, which come along with nuclear activities for instance threat of terrorism and use of nuclear weapons for military purposes. It is critical to critically analyze if the few advantages available for nuclear power should supersede the available security threats, which come along with misuse of nuclear products.

Reference list

Bennhold, K (2004). “Nuclear comeback fuels terror worry.” International Herald Tribune, October 18, 2004

Abbott C., Rogers P., Sloboda J. (2006). Global responses to global threats: Sustainable security for the 21st century. Oxford Research Group, Oxford, UK. Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from, http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk

Albright D., Berghout F., Walker W. (1997). Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1996: World Inventories, Capabilities and Policies. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from, http://www.sipri.org/

Barnaby F. (2005). Security and nuclear power. Factsheet. November. Oxford Research Group. Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from, http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/

Barnaby F. (2007). Iran’s nuclear strategy – civil or military? SGR Newsletter, no. 34, pp1&20-21. Scientists for Global Responsibility. Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from, http://www.sgr.org.uk/

Bows et al (2006). Living within a carbon budget. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from, http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/

IPPR (2007). Commission on National Security in the 21st Century. Intro paper. Institute of Public Policy Research. http://www.ippr.org.uk/

Makhijani A. (2001). Plutonium End Game: Managing Global Stocks of Separated Weapons-Usable Commercial and Surplus Nuclear Weapons Plutonium. Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from, http://www.ieer.org/reports/pu/index.html

Möller, Kristian & Aino Halinen. (2000). Relationship marketing theory: Its roots and directions. Journal of Marketing Management, 16: 29-54

Royal Society (2007). Strategy options for the UK’s separated plutonium. Policy document 24/07 (September). Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from,  http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/

SDC (2006). The role of nuclear power in a low carbon economy – position paper. Sustainable Development Commission. Retrieved on 12/ 08/2008 from,  http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/

 

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