By Namo Abdulla - for Rudaw
American and Israeli officials have warned that all options, including a military strike, are on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Likewise, most western commentators seem to agree that a nuclear-armed Iran is the worst possible outcome for the current standoff between the Islamic Republic and the United States.
Tough economic sanctions, assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists, and sometimes supporting opposition groups who seek regime change from within, have so far been among America’s preferences to dissuade Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.
Why is the United States so worried about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran? If Tehran’s ayatollahs gained nuclear weapons, will they seek the destruction of U.S. allies in the Middle East?
In a predominantly Sunni Middle East, would the presence of nuclear arsenal in the Shi’a-dominated Iran cause more stability or instability?
Joining this episode of Inside America are two distinguished U.S. professors with extensive experience and knowledge on Iran and its nuclear program: The first one is Hillary Mann Leverett, a professor of International Relations at the American University here in Washington, D.C. She is co-author of “Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran.” In the George W. Bush Administration, Dr. Leverett served as Director for Iran, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council.
The second guest is Raymond Tanter, a Georgetown University professor of Terrorism and Proliferation. Dr. Tanter has served on the senior staff of the National Security Council and as personal representative of the Secretary of Defense to arms control talks in Europe in the Reagan-Bush administration.