- Is a nuclear Iran really a threat?
Probably not in the sense that they would actually nuke anyone. Even North Korea hasn't, and North Korea isn't a republic that has to worry about popular demand. The Iranian people are already fed up with being pariahs and have voted in the most moderate person the government would allow. The bigger trouble would be that nuclear Iran would inspire Saudi Arabia and possibly others to go nuclear in a regional arms race
- Why does iran want nuclear weapons?
Because while there's little danger of them actually using the nukes, doing so changes the bargaining position, because a nuclear-armed country, even if they don't have the strength to win wars otherwise, can do terrible damage such that you don't want to go to war with them, ensuring that Iran won't be messed with militarily outside of some total war scenario
- Are economic sanctions effective?
It seems to be the case, given the election of Hassan Rouhani on a platform of detente with the West (not a major turnaround, mind, but one who is willing to engage unlike Ahmadinejad, whereby some of the sanctions can be eased)
- Would military actions be effective?
Highly counterproductive, in my mind. While sanctioning has worked, actually striking would create a "rally around the flag" effect that would throw the more fanatical elements of the Iranian state back into power. It would be short-term gains for long-term headaches
- What other options are there for stopping Iran nuclear ambitions?
Beyond punishing them, there is an effort to effectively outmaneuver them. They claim that their program is purely for the purposes of peace, so offers have been made to have the Russians sell them fuel and build them reactors without Iran having to do any fuel enrichment.
Monster Hunter: pissing me off since 2010.