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Mr Khan said:
- 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

 * Iran using the weapon is highly unlikely but the best counter argument to that is organizational theory on a state level.  There are domestic factors that do infact cause States to act irrational.  

* Nuclear proliferation in the middle east is likely is the stance I took.  Heres a counter argument to it.  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/02/don_t_fear_a_nuclear_arms_race?wp_login_redirect=0                                                 (argues Egypt, Saudia Arabia, are incapable and Turkey is in NATO therefore uner USA nuclear emberalla)

  * Coming from a US point of view, does a nuclear Iran effect US interest  in the region enough it could be considered a threat to national security?

- 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

* Does nuclear weapons bolster Iran ability to fight proxy war against US and US allies? and is this a big enough threat that Iran should be stopped at all cost?

- 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)

* I make the same the point.  

Though so far economic sanctions have not stopped Iran and they did not stop North Korea.  An argument is made that sanctions hurt US chances at stopping them.  The sanctions only further encourage Iran to seek Nuclear weapons in order to gain bargaining leverage.  It also turns future generations of Iranians against the US.  The chance at diplomacy is now with the new president and the US shouldn't play hardball because its been proven ineffective.

- 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

* Attacks on Syria by Israel worked to thwart their nuclear ambitions, and after the first Gulf War Iraq did not restart their program either. 

- 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.

* Forgot about the Russian thing,  That actually really helps.


I've already used most of your points in my paper but going back and fourth helps me work out kinks in the arguments.


My Real Redneck friends