The three possible outcomes for Iran’s nuclear

The argument within
nuclear optimists that “More is better” is backed by many arguments such as
Kenneth Waltz’s article, “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb”, talks about how a
nuclear Iran would stabilize the Middle East region. I agree that more is
better in the context of horizontal proliferation. Horizontal proliferation is
the concept of an increase in the number of states that possess nuclear
weapons. In contrast, Vertical proliferation is the increase in the supply of
nuclear weapons within current nuclear-capable states.

    The article, “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb”
by Kenneth Waltz, starts off introducing the issue within the middle eastern
region as US, EU, and Israeli have increased sanctions regime against Iran as
policymakers exaggerate that a nuclear-armed Iran would be the worst outcome.
Although this argument by policymakers is contradictory to historical facts of
modern-day nuclear-capable states. Based on history, nuclear-capable states
have been analyzed to be more open to communication, rational, cautious, and
tends to stabilize an imbalance in military power. Kenneth Waltz provides three
possible outcomes for Iran’s nuclear weapons program. First would be diplomacy
and serious sanctions against Iran would convince Iran to reconsider of
abandoning their pursuit of a nuclear weapon, second is that Iran would stop
midway of its testing nuclear weapons and develops Breakout capacity, and third
that Kenneth Waltz believed would be possible is that Iran continues its
current course and publicly goes nuclear by testing a weapon (Waltz, 2012).

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    The first outcome is stated to be unlikely.
Kenneth Waltz states that historically a country that is “bent on acquiring
nuclear weapons can rarely be dissuaded from doing so” (Waltz, 2012) meaning
that it is a goal that is weighted heavily. He also states that sanctions do
not derail nuclear program and gave North Korea as an example which succeeds in
building and developing nuclear weapons even with countless sanctions and UN
Security Council resolutions. Lastly, he states that if Tehran believes its
security depends on “possessing nuclear weapons” (2012) sanctions are not going
to be effective in persuading a change of decision as it will only make Iran
feel more vulnerable which ultimately results in an increased justification to
seek the ultimate deterrence: Nuclear weapons. I agree with his analysis as the
more vulnerable a state feels the more it is likely to defend itself as it is
like human nature.

    The second outcome is believed that it will
not work as intended as it describes an Iran with breakout capability, which
means that it can build and test one quickly if needed such as Japan since it
already has a nuclear infrastructure that if converted, Japan could build a
nuclear weapon in a short time. Because of this outcome, Iran would appease
major powers, and leave an unsatisfied Israeli which would cause it to continue
its subversion of Iran’s nuclear weapons program which could lead to Iran
conclude its breakout status. I agree with this analysis as major powers in
modern day tend to pursue peace for conflicts of its allies as they would lose
more if war breaks out. I also agree that Israel would likely try to hinder or
damage Iran’s nuclear program even if it decides to become a breakout capable
state, as regional hegemon tend to try and maintain their power for as long as
possible.

    The third and outcome he believes would
reduce the imbalance within the region. He believes that a nuclear capable Iran
would remove Israel’s monopoly of nuclear weapons within the past four decades
which has created instability within the region as Israel is unchecked. I agree
of this reasoning as it is backed by historical facts.

    The result of the most preferable outcome
(in my opinion) is that a nuclear Iran would provide: a balancer for Israel,
and stabilize the region as rivaling states against Israel would balance by
creating an alliance with Iran while the latter would ally themselves to Israel
which would balance the region. Because of this, a decade long nuclear crisis
would conclude as balance is restored. An example of this would be historical rivals
India and Pakistan, two nuclear-capable rivals who signed a treaty agreeing to
not target each other’s nuclear facilities. Even when tensions and risky
provocations, India and Pakistan have kept the peace as history states that
there has never been a full-scale war between nuclear-armed states.

    Although it may sound positive, Kenneth
Waltz outlines the fears and costs of a nuclear-capable Iran such as
exaggeration that Iran is irrational, a nuclear-capable Iran would be provided
a shield to act more aggressively and increase support for terrorism, the
United States would lose some leverage and influence within the region, and a
nuclear arms race would occur because of a nuclear Iran. Nevertheless, Kenneth
Waltz states that Iran is rational as it is only acting in self-preservation
and dabbles on typical politicism as other state actors do. He also states that
a nuclear-capable state will become more vulnerable as their nuclear weapons
“make them a potential target in the eyes of major powers.” (Waltz, 2012) Which
will discourage bold and aggressive actions such as the result of a
nuclear-capable china.

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