February 13, 2015

If the Iran Nuke Talks Fail...

By Ilan Goldenberg and Robert D. Kaplan

What if the nuclear talks with Iran completely break down at some point, as quite a few people in Congress and the Washington policy community seem to want? We believe the results might be more dangerous for Iran, the United States, and the Middle East than an imperfect deal that keeps Iran a healthy distance from a bomb and gives the United States reasonable confidence that it could catch an Iranian attempt to dash to a weapon, without eliminating Iran's nuclear program.

First of all, the possibility of an Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities goes up considerably. The Israelis would claim that, having restrained themselves for years while the talks were ongoing, they now had the moral right and strategic imperative to act. It is possible that Israel has been bluffing all along to try to get the United States and international community to act— or that its last realistic window of opportunity to bomb Iran was in 2010-2012 before the deeply buried Fordow nuclear facility became operational rendering an Israeli air strike ineffective.

Read the full article in the National Interest.

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