The sky is not falling regional reaction to a nuclear-armed Iran
Madson, Peter N.
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Recent case studies suggest that states highly motivated to obtain nuclear weapons will eventually succeed. If Iran manages to go nuclear, as Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea have done, what will the Arabian Gulf region look like after Tehran acquires these weapons? This thesis investigates the likely responses of Israel, the Arab Gulf States, and Pakistan to an Iran armed with nuclear weapons. A detailed examination of regional statements and media analysis shows that the region will likely not be further unbalanced. Instead, these states will pursue rational responses to diminish any Iranian threats. This thesis argues that Israel will develop a mutually deterring relationship with Tehran. The Arab Gulf States will not yield to the temptation to develop domestic nuclear programs-instead they will continue to outsource state security needs. Pakistan, focused on India and lacking serious issues with Iran, will create an understanding to avoid conflict. Iranian nuclear weapon acquisition will be universally unwelcome, but the United States can mitigate the negative impact by extending security guarantees to states requiring protection against a potentially more aggressive nuclear Iran.
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