Should Iran be allowed to develop a nuclear program?

Not under the current leadership. A: I'll try to present both sides: For: The arguments for Iran developing a nuclear program are that Iran does not acknowledge the US's or Europe's arguments saying they shouldn't, and indicate that they feel they should be allowed to pursue an independent course of scientific study and power generation on their own. For the most part, Iran has stated they do not intend to create nuclear weaponry, but this is not always what they say. When they do discuss the development of a nuclear program, they indicate it's in Iran's best interest to do so, especially as a deterent from Western first strike. Against: The arguments against Iran developing a nuclear program are more numberous. First, Iran is basically a fundamentalist theocracy. While there are two parts of the Government, the religious and the secular or political, the religious has at times subscribed to the belief that Islam requires the destruction not only of the Zionist state, but of all the people in it as well. There have been occassional direct threats against Israel from Iran as well, and I've never seen even a statement that say this is not so. It bears noting that it's unlikely Iran will reach parity with Israel's nuclear arsenal (never admitted by Israel but regarded as a given by most intelligence groups), so the only strategy that would have a serious chance of success would likely invovle an interdictive first strike. Additionally, Iran, having a violent past in regional factional warfare (including Suni vs. Shi'ite), is thought to be a likely candidate to use nuclear arms in any case if they had them. Their strategic placement in a geographical sense could make for an increase in overall tension in the Middle East. It bears noting that Russia, arguably Iran's largest trading partner, made the offer to provide the uranium fuel for their nuclear plant, if Iran would desist from refining their own (this refining is what generates the fissile materials needed for weaponization), and Iran refused this compromise, without much of an explanation. Those opposed to Iran having a nuclear energy program (which at this point includes all the UN Security Council, all of the European Union, the US and Great Britain, among others) are concerned that such a move would provide Iran with Nuclear weapons, and that Iranian politics would make the use of nuclear first strike capability a likelihood. Please note that these comments are intended solely as reportage, and may or may not represent my own personal opinions.