U.S. cannot passively accept Iranian nuclearization
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On the other hand, the United States should not passively accept Iranian nuclearization. In private conversations, strategic and foreign policy elites in both the Gulf Cooperation Council’s member states and Israel express concern that acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability would embolden Tehran to use its influence and strategic resources more aggressively against the interests of the United States and its allies in the Middle East. Other assessments highlight the risks that Iranian nuclearization would prompt states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to seek their own nuclear weapons capabilities, effectively eviscerating nonproliferation efforts both regionally and globally. While one reasonably can question whether such an outcome is inevitable, it seems incontrovertible that Iranian nuclearization would, at a minimum, raise tensions and greatly complicate strategic calculations in the Persian Gulf and beyond.
Some have claimed that it may be better to try and adapt to a nuclear Iran through a policy of containment or deterrence rather than trying to prevent their becoming a nuclear power in the first place. This overly optimistic scenario overlooks Iran's history and the irrational rhetoric of its messianic regime.