Iran could retaliate by escalating covert action in Iran, Afghanistan, and Lebanon
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Any military action against Iran would also undermine America's nation-building efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, due to possible Iranian retaliation in both countries. While Iranian efforts toward stabilizing these two states have been sporadic at best, and purposively obstructive at worst, there is little reason to doubt that Iran could make achieving US objectives in Iraq and Afghanistan far more difficult. Although mostly bluster, there is some truth to former Iranian President Ali Rafsanjani's argument that as long as American troops maintain a formidable presence on Iran's borders, "it is the United States that is besieged by Iran."3 The same holds true regarding Iran's ties to Hezbollah and its presence in Lebanon. By targeting Iran's nuclear program the United States would unwisely encourage Iranian escalation in a number of these arenas.