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Eminem asked: What could be the geo-political implications if Iran goes nuclear?

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  • S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies: If Iran goes nuclear, depending on whether one is a nuclear optimist or pessimist, it could lead either to a more stable Middle East/West Asia or be a cause of greater instabilities. Proponents of the former view include international relations theorists like Kenneth Waltz.

    Countries of the region of course hold quite a different view. Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries contend that a nuclear Iran would be emboldened to undertake de-stabilising activities with greater impunity. These could range from increased support for organizations, such as the Hezbollah and Hamas, to contemplating offensive actions like missile attacks or naval brinkmanship for instance.

    Accordingly, these countries are fortifying themselves with missile defence assets, procuring sophisticated military assets, among other measures. The GCC countries like Saudi Arabia are also on record stating that they will most definitely explore the possibility of obtaining the nuclear option themselves if Iran goes nuclear. US officials like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Strategic Command chief Gen. Robert Kehler have hinted at the possibility of bestowing extended nuclear deterrence on their allies in the region.