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Kyle Beardsley



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February 21, 2012

"Ask the Experts: What Would Iran Do With a Bomb?"

Op-Ed, Politics, Power, and Preventive Action, A Council on Foreign Relations Blog

By Micah Zenko, Former Research Assistant to Graham Allison, 2003–2006; Former Research Associate, Project on Managing The Atom, 2006–2008, Kyle Beardsley, Sarah Kreps, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2007–2008, Matthew Kroenig, Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2007–2008, Annie Tracy Samuel, Former Associate, International Security Program, July–August 2014; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2011–2014; Former Research Fellow, Dubai Initiative, Fall 2011 and Todd Sechser, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2004–2006

"Iran's leaders, like those in other states, want to remain in power.  They want the regime in which they have invested and which serves their interests to endure.  Foreign policy, in addition to safeguarding Iran's borders and national integrity, is a means for safeguarding the regime.  Possession of a nuclear weapon will likely make Iran more impervious to attack and may make Iran bolder in its support for armed groups.  However, possessing a nuclear weapon will is not likely to alter Iran's paramount foreign policy goals of national and regime security."

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