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Israel Can Live With a Nuclear Iran

The BriefGet Up To Speed

Over the summer of 2012, despite increased international pressure and economic sanctions, Iran doubled the number of nuclear centrifuges installed in its underground Fordow site, stopping just short of the capacity to produce nuclear fuel. President Obama has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu'€™s call to draw a '€œred line'€ that would trigger U.S. military action. But what would the costs and benefits of military action be? Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran, or could the time be near for a pre-emptive strike?


Fears of a bomb in Tehran’s hands are overhyped, and a war to prevent it would be a disaster.

Sunday, April 1, 2012
Paul Pillar

Iran can be contained. The path to follow? A course laid out half a century ago by a young Henry Kissinger, who argued that American chances of checking revolutionary powers such as the Soviet Union depended on our credible willingness to engage them in limited war.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Robert Kaplan

Nuclear balancing would mean stability.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Kenneth N. Waltz

Negotiate a deal that lets Iran enrich uranium for civilian use (as it is entitled to do under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty), that applies rigorous safeguards (because Iran cheats), that gradually relaxes sanctions and brings this wayward country into the community of more-or-less civilized nations.

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Bill Keller

Why a strike is the least bad option.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Matthew Kroenig

Iran is closer to having nuclear weapons than was widely assumed, and once it goes nuclear, it will be impossible to stop. To prevent it, the Obama administration must use military force—soon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Eric Edelman

The dangers Israel faces from an Iranian nuclear weapon are unique and, I will argue, are dangers no nation should be asked to accept.

Friday, June 1, 2012
Elliot Abrams

Ahmadinejad’s ambitions are not confined to the destruction of Israel.

Friday, June 1, 2007
Norman Podhoretz

Would a nuclear Iran make the Middle East more secure?

Monday, October 1, 2012
Colin H. Kahl and Kenneth N. Waltz

An interactive online glossary of terms used in the discussion about Iran, prepared by proliferation expert Simon Henderson and Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Simon Henderson and Ollie Heinonen

This interactive presentation traces Iran’s history, its evolution as an Islamic republic, and the controversial nuclear program. It also offers an expert overview of the main policy options for dealing with Iran.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Background on Iran’s historical nuclear activities, including an interactive facilities map.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Iran Country Profile

This product is an exposition of the technical data contained in numerous International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports informed by the discussions of experts in the field of nuclear proliferation. It is a work in progress in that it will be revised continuously based on new information from the IAEA reports and other sources and on feedback from readers.

Friday, November 23, 2012
Maseh Zarif

A description of a Saban Center day-long simulation of a confrontation between the United States and Iran arising from ongoing tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and western covert actions intended to delay or degrade it.

Monday, October 1, 2012
Kenneth M. Pollack

Overall, there are two opposing assessments of the implications of an Israeli attack. One anticipates the outbreak of World War III, while the other envisions containment and restraint, and presumes that in practice, Iran’s capabilities to ignite the Middle East are limited.

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Udi Dekel and Yonathan Lerner

The simulation conducted at INSS staged responses to a scenario of Iran carrying out a nuclear test and the analytical discussions that followed.

Sunday, January 1, 2012
Yoel Guzansky and Yonathan Lerner

IAEA report on the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
August 30

Iran has installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges it needs to complete a site deep underground for the production of nuclear fuel, international inspectors reported Thursday, a finding that led the White House to warn that “the window that is open now to resolve this diplomatically will not remain open indefinitely.”

Thursday, August 30, 2012
David Sanger and William Broad

Iran has doubled the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges it has in an underground bunker, showing Tehran has continued to expand its nuclear program despite Western pressure and the threat of an Israeli attack.

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Fredrik Dahl

The potential ramifications of a military attack on Iran are so dire that President Obama must give engagement another chance. The realistic aim of diplomacy should not be forging a comprehensive, long-term agreement. The administration should instead focus on motivating Iran to cap its nuclear development.

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Karim Sadjadpour and George Perkovich

The real problem now is how the current debate and the policy being pursued in Western capitals in general -- and in Washington in particular -- is steadily blanketing out all the alternative paths that could, and still can, be taken, giving the impression that war is a reasonable and almost inevitable policy outcome.

Friday, March 2, 2012
Rouzbeh Parsi

The authors recommend that while preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons should remain an urgent priority, rushing into preventive war would risk making the threat worse and force should be seen as a last resort.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Colin Kahl

This report addresses how the U.S. could take the lead in carrying out a preventive Military Strike against Iran if all peaceful options have been exhausted and Iran has left no other means to convince it to stop or change its course in pursuing nuclear weapons.

Saturday, September 1, 2012
Anthony Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan

To mitigate adverse consequences, Washington would need to take a number of steps before and after an Israeli strike, some of which might run counter to its instincts and preferences.

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Michael Eisenstadt

There’s greater uncertainty in the outcome of an Israeli or U.S. air campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities than frequently appreciated, whether it is carried out quickly or over a period of days or even weeks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Michael E. O’Hanlon

In this Working Paper, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Pollack presents formal and informal structures requisite to effectively deter a post-nuclear Iran.

Saturday, May 1, 2010
Kenneth Pollack

Containing and deterring may become the least-bad choice, but that does not make it a low-risk or low-cost choice.

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Thomas Donnelly

U.S. and international sanctions.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Toni Johnson and Greg Bruno

Iran's oil minister claimed Sunday his country has successfully overcome sanctions on the sale of its oil, state TV reported.

Sunday, December 23, 2012
Associated Press

Iran’s president said Tuesday that Western sanctions could at the most cause a “quick tap on the brakes” in Tehran’s nuclear program but will not slow it down substantially, state TV reported.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Associated Press

It is time for the United States and its Western allies to realize that the policy of more sanctions, intimidation, and pressure is counter-productive to the stated goal of changing the regime's behavior on the nuclear issue.

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Geneive Abdo

The United States and five other world powers are hastily preparing for possible new talks with Iran amid signs that the country’s leaders might be willing to meet as early as next week to discuss scaling back nuclear activities in return for future sanctions relief.

Friday, December 14, 2012
Joby Warrick

Leaked diagram obtained by the AP shows Islamic Republic ran computer simulation for a weapon three times more forceful than the World War II bomb.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Associated Press

Uncritical, fear-mongering media propaganda is far too common to take note of each time it appears, but sometimes, what is produced is so ludicrous that is illustrative value should not be ignored.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Glenn Greenwald