A successful campaign against Iran's nuclear weapons program without removing their motivations for pursuing it could cause them to shift to biological WMD
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The United States and many of its allies consider a nuclear-armed Iran an intolerable threat to stability in a volatile region and to security around the world. Failure to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, they argue, could have a range of negative consequences, including sparking a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and threatening the existence of Israel. Yet in their struggle to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, the United States, its allies, and like-minded members of the international community should not focus only on the dire consequences of failure in this mission. They should also consider the implications of success. Smothering Iran's prized nuclear program could well provoke dangerous reactions, including, perhaps, Iran's pursuit of other types of unconventional weapons systems. In one possible scenario, an Iran deprived of nuclear weapons is driven to develop a capability already within its technical grasp: biological weaponry. Whether manifested as the initiation of a new biological warfare program or the intensification of an existing (but so far unconfirmed) biological weapons effort, the Iranian threat is grave enough to warrant serious consideration of a rigorous biological nonproliferation strategy that could be implemented in parallel with nuclear nonproliferation efforts.
State department reports consistently list Iran as one of the states expected to be developing an offensive biological weapons program. During the 8-year long Iran-Iraq war, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and it is expected that Iran has developed both chemical and biological weapons to be able to respond in kind to future attacks.