Iran after the Bomb: How Would a Nuclear-Armed Tehran Behave?

Iran after the Bomb: How Would a Nuclear-Armed Tehran Behave?

Iran after the Bomb: How Would a Nuclear-Armed Tehran Behave?

Iran after the Bomb: How Would a Nuclear-Armed Tehran Behave?

Excerpt

A common concern regarding Iran’s potential possession of nuclear weapons is that they would allow it to become more aggressive in challenging U.S. and allied interests. The U.S. policy of imposing sanctions on Iran while pursuing diplomatic engagement may dissuade the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapons capability, but it is not guaranteed to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis. Even a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities could not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; it could only delay such development. In light of this possibility, this report seeks to explore how a nuclear-armed Iran would behave, whether it would act aggressively, and what this would entail for the United States and its main regional allies, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Israel.

This research was conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD). NSRD conducts research and analysis on defense and national security topics for the U.S. and allied defense, foreign policy, homeland security, and intelligence communities and foundations and other nongovernmental organizations that support defense and national security analysis.

For more information on the International Security and Defense Policy Center, see http://www.rand.org/nsrd/ndri/centers/isdp.html or contact the Director (contact information is provided on the web page).

The author would like to thank James Dobbins, John Limbert, and David Thaler for their careful and very useful reviews of this study.

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