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Iran and Potential Nuclear Capabilities

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In the realm of international politics, a debate has been steadily growing on what can be done about keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear capable weapons. Part of this debate asks the question of whether or not the US should, if necessary, use military action to stop the Middle Eastern country from obtaining these weapons. While some think that military action is the inevitable solution, it seems as though military action, while not only being far from a sure-fire solution, could in the long run cause more harm then good, and open the door to an even greater problem in the middle east.

One of the major problems facing the idea of military force to stop Iran is the fact that preemptive military action, while surely stifling weapons programs, wouldn’t guarantee non-proliferation. With between 18 and 30 nuclear related facilities, and 1,500 different military action points, an attack couldn’t guarantee complete destruction of nuclear facilities that may be hidden underground, or even completely unknown to outside intelligence agencies . Setting back an extremist country like Iran could only push the radical country further toward their belief that proliferation is necessary.

Along with uncertain outcomes, military action by the US could also lead to escalation of a security dilemma in the Middle East. Iran has publicly declared its hostility toward Israel, the US’ chief ally in the Middle East and a nuclear power itself, and military action now could escalate not only an arms race, but an increase in terrorist action towards the democratic nation. Not only could Iran increase military spending in response to a US attack, but it could also increase funding to militant groups such as Hezbollah whom could in turn increase hostilities in Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq. With US forces already spread thin from two on-going wars, and international support of the United States military campaigns in the Middle East already waning, the Security Dilemma with Iran could escalate even further, even if nuclear capabilities were limited.

Beyond the military and political consequences of possible military force, there are humanitarian concerns to take into consideration. Strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities would surely cause civilian casualties, and could spark the nation to unite and create even greater anti-US sentiment in the region. The US has already labeled Iran as a member of the “axis of evil” and military action could further anger Tehran and cause greater terrorist attacks of US soldiers in the region, specifically in Iraq and Israel . With Iran’s close ties to militant organizations such as Hezbollah, increases in funding and weapons could be devastating to ally forces in the region.

While the arguments not to use force are strong, there are arguments for the use of force. While not completely destructive to their nuclear program, an attack could cause major setbacks and possible even cause Tehran to reconsider the benefits of proliferation . If the US were to show that it would not stand for unapproved nuclear programs this may deter Iran’s quest for such programs. The US has been sanctioning and regulating Iran’s nuclear programs for decades and apparently this has not been a deterrent. The problem is that without proper UN support, an attack sooner then later could cause a breakdown in diplomacy, and an even further aggravation of tensions in the Middle East.

Another argument in favor of the use of force is that Israel is already a nuclear force and the US is a dominant military force. One could argue there is no need

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