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Sahimi, Mohamed

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El País - Spain | 25/01/2006

The Iranian nuclear threat

"Lost in the international fury over Iran's partial restart of its nuclear energy program, and the deplorable statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding Israel, has been the fact that respect for human rights and a democratic political system are the most effective deterrent against the threat that any aspiring nuclear power, including Iran, may pose to the world," writes Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, and Muhammad Sahimi, a professor at the University of Southern California. "When the U.S. and its allies encouraged the Shah in the 1970s to start Iran's nuclear energy program, they helped create the 'Frankenstein' that has become so controversial today. If, instead, they had pressed the Shah to undertake political reforms, respect human rights and release Iran's political prisoners, history could have been very different."

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