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Argument: A nuclear Iran would be more aggressive in the Middle East

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Supporting evidence

Mortimer Zuckerman. "The World Cannot Live With the Threat of a Nuclear Iran". US News and World Report. March 23, 2009 - Nuclear Iran will be a threat to U.S. national security, worldwide energy security, the efficacy of multilateralism, and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Having defied the world so brazenly, it might become overconfident enough to believe that its conventional or proxy forces could operate without fear of serious reprisals from the United States, Israel, or any other power.


Joshua Muravchik. "Opposing View: Iranian Bomb 'Intolerable'". USA Today. November 20, 2007 - Even without initiating an attack on us or an ally, Tehran would use its nuke as an umbrella over its drive to dominate the Middle East and beyond. Like Lenin and Hitler, Admadinejad has a grand vision. "Thanks to the blood of the martyrs, a new Islamic revolution ... will soon reach the entire world," he crows. Bolstered by nukes, Iran's aggressive ambitions would not be stopped without a big war.


An October 2005 report by the Army's Strategic Studies Institute claims that, "With a nuclear weapons option acting as a deterrent to the United States and allied action against it, Iran would likely lend greater support to terrorists operating against Israel, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and the United States. The aim of such support would be to reduce American support for U.S. involvement in the Middle East, for Israel, and for actions against Iran generally, and to elevate Iran as an equal to the United States and its allies on all matters relating to the Persian Gulf and related regions. An additional aim of the terrorism that Iran would support would be to keep other nations from supporting U.S. policies and the continued U.S. military presence in the Middle East."


Kenneth Timmerman writes in "The Day After Iran Gets the Bomb" (10/2005) that, "In the past, the regime’s use of terror against U.S. targets has been selective, as Iran carefully gauged the U.S. response. A nuclear ready Iran will feel emboldened to launch terrorist attacks on U.S. forces wherever they are stationed in the region as the price of U.S. retaliation dramatically escalates. To step up pressure on the United States to withdraw its forces, Iranian surrogates could also launch attacks against countries that host U.S. military bases (Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates [UAE], Bahrain, Oman), and on U.S. naval ships patrolling the Gulf."


Richard Russell writes in his 10/2005 article,"Arab Security Responses to a Nuclear-Ready Iran" that, "The clerical regime might calculate, for example, that it could give more material assistance and lessen restrictions on Hezbollah to engage in operations against Israeli and American interests. The Iranians have supported Hezbollah operations against American forces as an appendage of Iranian foreign policy to push the Americans out of the Gulf, most notably in assisting Saudi Hezbollah attacks against the Khobar Towers. Tehran might calculate that it could support an even more ambitious unconventional terrorist campaign against American forces in the Gulf and the smaller Arab Gulf states that host American forces if it has a nuclear weapons arsenal. Tehran might assess that, even if its hand is exposed, the risks of American military retaliation would be minimal, given Iranian nuclear weapons. If push came to shove, Tehran could use nuclear weapons against American military assets or hosting countries in the region with Iranian ballistic missiles, or clandestinely insert them into the United States to directly target American cities and citizens."


"An 'Intolerable' Threat". Wall Street Journal. February 3, 2006 - even short of using them, Tehran's rulers could use the leverage of the bomb to dominate the Middle East and limit America's ability to defend itself and fight terrorism.

[...] A bomb would also give Iran far more leverage to press its influence abroad since it will believe it is immune to retaliation. In Lebanon, the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah sits on Israel's northern border with 7,000 medium-range missiles, deterred only by Israel's conventional arms superiority. But the military balance changes once Hezbollah's patron becomes invulnerable.


KT McFarland. "The Doomsday Scenario - A nuclear Iran". Accuracy in Media. July 10, 2008 - Finally, a nuclear Iran will add muscle to its ambitions to dominate the Persian Gulf and threaten not only Israel, but any country within 1200 miles of Iran - which includes the oil producing countries of the Middle East, Turkey and parts of Europe. It would put Iran in the driver's seat in controlling the free flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz.


Michael Rubin. "Can Iran Be Contained?". American Enterprise Institute. November 5, 2008 - An Iranian nuclear first strike might be the nightmare scenario for U.S. policymakers, but it is not the most likely one. Should Tehran acquire nuclear arms, the Iranian leadership may feel itself so immune from consequence that it has no obstacles to conventional aggression, whether direct or by proxy. While Western officials may think that the United States can deter Iran, Iranian officials may believe that their nuclear capability will enable them to deter the West. Indeed, in September 2005, the hard-line monthly Ma'refat opined, "Deterrence does not belong just to a few superpowers,"

Counter-arguments

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