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Containing Iran: strategies for addressing the Iranian nuclear challenge

Containing Iran: strategies for addressing the Iranian nuclear challenge

Reardon, Robert J., author

"Iran's nuclear program is one of the most pressing foreign policy issues for the United States. An Iranian nuclear arsenal could further destabilize an already unsettled region and put important U.S. interests at risk. The United States has a strong interest in preventing such an outcome. There is no evidence that Iran has decided to acquire nuclear weapons. However, Iran does seem intent on acquiring the means to do so quickly. It is an open question whether the United States and its allies would be able to prevent Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold, if it so chose, at an acceptable cost. After almost a decade of concerted effort involving economic, diplomatic, and military sources of leverage, there has been little progress toward reversing or substantially slowing Iran's nuclear progress. Despite years of U.S. diplomatic efforts to stall that progress, the Iranians have succeeded in building an extensive enrichment program and likely possess the technical capacity to produce at least one nuclear weapon should they choose to do so. Coercion is unlikely to convince Iran to change course. This study assesses current U.S. policy options on the Iranian nuclear question. It suggests that U.S. goals can be met through patient and forward-looking policymaking. Specifically, the United States can begin to lay the groundwork for an effective containment policy while continuing efforts to forestall Iranian weaponization. A successful containment policy will promote long-term positive political change in Iran while avoiding counterproductive provocation."--Publisher's website

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2012

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Robert J. Reardon
ISBN: 083307637X, 9780833076311, 9780833076373
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 163-180).
Note: Print version record.
Note: "Supported by the Stanton Foundation."
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xxvi, 180 pages) : color illustrations.
Series: Rand Corporation monograph series ; MG-1180-TSF
Subject: United States.; Nuclear nonproliferation Iran.; Iran.; Nuclear weapons Iran.; Nuclear nonproliferation Government policy United States.; Nuclear nonproliferation.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Government International.; Nuclear weapons Government policy United States.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Security (National & International); POLITICAL SCIENCE International Relations General.; Iran Foreign relations United States.; Nuclear weapons.; Nuclear nonproliferation Government policy.; Diplomatic relations.; Nuclear weapons Government policy.; United States Foreign relations Iran.
Series Title: Rand Corporation monograph series.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Introduction
  2. Iran's nuclear program : past, present, and future
  3. Explaining Iran's nuclear policy choices
  4. Constraints on U.S. policy
  5. U.S. policy options
  6. Conclusion.