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The United States and the Iranian Nuclear ProgrammeA Critical History$
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Steven Hurst

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682638

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682638.001.0001

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The 1990s: Clinton and the Failure of Containment and Engagement

The 1990s: Clinton and the Failure of Containment and Engagement

(p.92) 3 The 1990s: Clinton and the Failure of Containment and Engagement
The United States and the Iranian Nuclear Programme

Steven Hurst

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter three explores developments under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. It examines the continued development of the Iranian nuclear programme, US efforts to curtail it, and the broader course of US-Iranian relations. The chapter demonstrates how domestic politics on both sides continued to prevent coherent policy-making and resolution of the conflict. Leaders with an interest in dialogue found their efforts to engage the other government undercut by the actions and opposition of hard liners in both countries. The need to pander to domestic (and Israeli) pressures also undermined the efficacy of US efforts to curtail the Iranian nuclear programme by driving them down a path of unilateral coercion that was completely ineffective. Consequently, the Iranian nuclear programme continued to develop largely unhindered by the United States.

Keywords:   George Bush, Bill Clinton, Rafsanjani, Khatami, Dual Containment, Sanctions, Nuclear energy, Nuclear weapons

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