Iran's nuclear ambitions are likely driven by multiple factors, from security concerns to domestic polices. However, political competition within Iran, rather than Israel's nuclear capabilities, plays a more significant role in driving Iran's nuclear ambition.
The United States tried to convince Israel to join the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) when the treaty was first introduced and before it was widely believed that Israel had nuclear weapons. The NPT's objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and further the goal of universal disarmament.
Asked by Michael Varacalli, from New York University
Conflict between Israelis and Palestinians began even before the State of Israel was established in 1948, and the two populations have opposing claims to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that have defeated numerous U.S. efforts to broker peace. Right now there is little hope of a comprehensive solution—one that resolves all the issues and involves not only Israel and the PLO but the Arab states as well. Today, the most that Israel can realistically offer is less than the least the Palestinians can realistically accept. For now, the best way forward is to continue talks, but to emphasize practical steps forward on the ground that move Palestinians toward construction of a state.
Listen to CFR experts Robert Danin and Ray Takeyh discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3, 2015 speech before a joint session of U.S. Congress. Experts discuss U.S.-Israel relations, Prime Minister Netanyahu's strategic objectives, and ongoing talks over Iran's nuclear program.
Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Robert M. Danin,a former senior State Department and National Security Council official with more than twenty years of Middle East experience,discussed progress during peace talks between Israel and Palestine on a media conference call.
Robert M. Danin, CFR's Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies, leads a conversation on the significance of Israel's new coalition government and President Obama's recent trip to the region, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
Daniel L. Byman, senior fellow for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, discusses his Foreign Affairs article, "How to Handle Hamas: The Perils of Ignoring Gaza's Leadership" with students, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
Listen to CFR expert Robert Danin discuss the resumption of direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the agenda for their September 2 meeting in Washington, and the likely implications of these talks in a media conference call.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses U.S.-Israel relations, the threat of a nuclear Iran, the peace process, and the possibility of extending a temporary settlement freeze in the West Bank.
Listen to CFR's Steven A. Cook discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict in light of the release of the Goldstone Report, which was recently completed by the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »