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August 2005

Reassessing the Implications of a Nuclear-Armed Iran

This paper examines the strategic implications for the US in the event that Iran should acquire nuclear weapons capability. The authors discuss Iran's perspective on its national right to nuclear weapons, the situation of Iran's neighbors, especially Israel, and finally the US policy options. They conclude that the potential for a rollback of Iran's nuclear program once a certain threshold has been crossed is lower than preventing it in the first place, and that the costs of rollback may be higher than the costs of deterring and containing a nuclear Iran.

© 2005 Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)

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Author:

Judith S Yaphe, Charles D Lutes

Series:

Issue:

69

Note:

The appendices include a timeline of Iran's path to nuclear weapons, a text on the status, risks, and prospects of Iran's nuclear program, and a text on Israeli options in response to Iranian nuclear developments.

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