Accepting a Nuclear Iran
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, talks with Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at the headquarter's building in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Jan. 21, 2010 (Photo: DOD)




Brigadier Naushad Kayani
Pakistan Army
USAWC International Fellow AY2009

The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. or Pakistani Governments.



Iran is currently viewed by the US as a source of instability within the Persian Gulf region. The recent emergence of a more strident Iranian government, apparently pursuing the acquisition of nuclear weapons, has further destabilized the fragile regional environment. The prospect of a nuclear-capable Iran poses a profound threat for both the balance of power in the region and the security of Israel. This paper, written by a USAWC AY2009 International student, examines the social-economic-political context driving Iran towards nuclear armament and objectively examines corresponding policy alternatives for the US, Pakistan and other regional actors. It specifically assesses the regional implications of aggressive counter-proliferation actions by the US or Israel and contrasts those with the near-and long-term consequences of accepting a nuclear capable Iran. The author concludes by recommending that the US focus its efforts on regional development and deterrence vice military counter-proliferation measures, thereby influencing Iran toward moderation by establishing democratic and liberalized governments in the region.

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