IPS reports: A nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a fundamental threat to the United States and its regional allies like Israel and the Gulf Arab monarchies, according to a new report released here Friday by the Rand Corporation.
Entitled “Iran After the Bomb: How Would a Nuclear-Armed Tehran Behave?“, the report asserts that the acquisition by Tehran of nuclear weapons would above all be intended to deter an attack by hostile powers, presumably including Israel and the United States, rather than for aggressive purposes.
And while its acquisition may indeed lead to greater tension between Iran and its Sunni-led neighbours, the 50-page report concludes that Tehran would be unlikely to use nuclear weapons against other Muslim countries. Nor would it be able to halt its diminishing influence in the region resulting from the Arab Spring and its support for the Syrian government, according to the author, Alireza Nader.
“Iran’s development of nuclear weapons will enhance its ability to deter an external attack, but it will not enable it to change the Middle East’s geopolitical order in its own favour,” Nader, an international policy analyst at RAND, told IPS. “The Islamic Republic’s challenge to the region is constrained by its declining popularity, a weak economy, and a limited conventional military capability. An Iran with nukes will still be a declining power.”