In this paper, I try and provide an analysis about how Hobbes would have viewed the problem arising out of Iranian nuclear ambitions from both the western as well as Iranian perspectives. This is necessary because of the fact that the Leviathan was composed mainly as a treatise on the role of the state and the international system being bound by commonly accepted norms of behavior and conduct. As the following quote from one of the respected commentators on Foreign Policy shows, “The misrulers of Iran claim inspiration from the Qur’an and other Islamic sources, as well as Plato’s concept of the “philosopher-king.” But it now seems they are inspired by a more recent Western thinker, Thomas Hobbes. In his classic on the state, Leviathan, Hobbes wrote, “the aim of punishment is not revenge, but terror.” The Iranian government takes Hobbes as their guide for maintaining the Ayatollahs’ Leviathan in power.” (Hasani, 2010).
Hence it is apparent that Hobbes’ definition of the purposes for which a state must exist has been twisted to fit the arguments of both the sides. From the Iranian perspective, however loathsome the idea of a Nuclear Iran might be to Western nations, the fact that Hobbes proclaimed that punishment can take the form of terror as well as revenge means that the Iranian state is using the nuclear status as an alibi to terrorize the west into accepting their demands. This in itself makes for a rather poor reading of Hobbes
The argument for the West runs something like this, “First and foremost, however, a stable Middle Eastern order requires a Leviathan--a power, that is, capable of disciplining all warring parties.” (Doran, 2006) This is the grand strategy that the US and its allies must be pursuing in the Middle East. The idea to restrain Iran from acquiring Nuclear weapons is to be seen in this context of a strong Western presence in the volatile Middle East