Iranian nuclear weapons program driven by Persian nationalism
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Persian pride appears to be a motivation in Iran's pursuit of nuclear enrichment capability, if not actual nuclear weapons. Acquiring nuclear arms would give Iran a status that only a few other nations possess. It would immediately catapult Iran into the "major leagues" of world politics. It would likely force other states to pay more attention to Iran's aspirations and wishes. Here the recent model that seems to stand out in the minds of many Iranians is India. Its development of nuclear weapons-and their acceptance by the international community-has been a critical element in New Delhi's elevation to one of the great powers of the world, a power whose views should be considered on any matter of importance. Since this is the position to which many Iranians seem to aspire, matching India in the nuclear realm also appears to be a self-evident necessity for Iran.
Iranian leaders consistently present the nuclear program as an accomplishment of Iranian science and as evidence that Iran is an advanced modern industrial power. They also argue that Western opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions is an effort to keep Iran down, to prevent the country from assuming its rightful place as a leader in the region and the broader Muslim world.