Fallout looks at the history behind the current conflict between the West, Israel and Iran over its nuclear programme. Starting in pre-revolutionary Iran, the film shows how the Shah began a wide reaching and expensive nuclear industry and that from the start he began to plan and build nuclear technology for possible military use.
Fallout shows how, after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini put a stop to the nuclear industry. Then the traumatic effect of the Iran-Iraq war led to the decision in Tehran to re-start the nuclear programme, with rogue traders such as Pakistan’s A.Q.Khan helping kick-start their weapons programme. The film also looks at Iran’s agreement with Russia to help build a civilian nuclear power plant, the West’s dismay and pressure it put on the Russian authorities. Fallout also assesses the extraordinary change in nature of Israel’s international position towards Iran: from being its ally during the Shah’s reign, and during the Iran-Iraq war, to calling for a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities today.
Fallout interviews the major players on the diplomatic side, looking at how and why talks between the West and Iran have not succeeded and why diplomacy has failed. Negotiators such as Jack Straw (former UK Foreign Secretary) Hossein Moussavian (Iran’s former lead nuclear negotiator) Ali Asghar Soltanieh ( Iran’s current ambassador to the IAEA) and Nicholas Burns (former US Under Secretary of State ) give their accounts as to why, and the impact of the personalities of presidents past and present.
The film also looks at the game of cat and mouse played between the Iranian government and international inspectors of the IAEA. Olli Heinonen (Deputy Director-General of the IAEA) who went to Iran many times explains the difficulties he had and Mark Fitzpatrick (from the IISS - International Institute for Strategic Studies) gives a close analysis as to where Iran is in its nuclear capability.
Finally, Fallout looks at today’s situation where the West has imposed crippling sanctions to force Iran to curtail its nuclear programme, which Obama is keen to see work. The Israelis however have raised the stakes by continuing to threaten military action. The current Iranian ambassador to the IAEA tells us how the West is after what it has always been after, regime change.
Meanwhile Iran insists that as far as its plans are concerned nothing be kept off the table, and it be allowed to enrich uranium, without limit, as the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty allows, while the US also insists that nothing be kept of the table, including military action against Iran. Directed by Rosalind Bain.
Broadcast on: BBC World, BBC Persian