Assistant Professor at the Norwegian Defense University College, Oslo
Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer is an assistant professor at the Norwegian Defense University College, Oslo and was also a former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2008–2010,
"Just as they did with Saddam Hussein, concerned governments have implemented economic sanctions, diplomatic isolation, and low-level violence to weaken the Iranian regime and prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, with the long-term objective of regime change. In Iraq, and seemingly now in Iran, diplomacy and inspections became a means to an end: building up a casus belli. The strategy failed miserably in Iraq a decade ago. It probably will in Iran, too..."
Parallels between Iraq’s former nuclear weapons program and the Iranian nuclear program have shaped policy debates for nearly a decade. We are still paying the costs of failing in Iraq. Israel now seems determined to make similar mistakes in Iran.
The author reviews his recent research on the history of the 1981 pre-emptive attack on the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor, finding that the attack played no part in delaying Iraq's nascent nuclear weapons program and in many ways only served to accelerate it.