Most discussion--in the media, think tanks, the U.S. government, and elsewhere--has focused on how to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapons capability. This is not surprising. Like its predecessors and U.S. allies in Western Europe and the Middle East, the Obama administration has said that Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons would be "unacceptable." Yet a real prospect remains that efforts to prevent Iran from going nuclear will fail. Therefore, an examination of the options that the United States has should Tehran develop a weapon is crucial.
CFR's "Deterring a Nuclear Iran" Program focuses on U.S. options for containing a nuclear-armed Iran should that country obtain nuclear weapons. The program is directed by Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair James Lindsay; Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Elliott Abrams; and David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment Michael Levi. It aims to bring together analysis from numerous experts about whether effective deterrence would be possible, what it would require, and what the regional effects of an Iranian nuclear weapon and American deterrence activities would be.
This program has been made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.