This article is an old one but it works as an AMAZINGLY similar case study to frame what’s currently going on with Iran. Consider the case of North Korea and their nuclear program. To list some similarities, both are countries that have governments that seem tyranical and dictatorial. Both have long standing grudges with their neighbors (litterally from the time when the countries were created). Both have enemies with nuclear capabilities adjacent to them. The similarities are numerous.
With North Korea, they just bided their time until they built a bomb and when it was finished the hype died down and now we don’t even talk about it. To say that nuclear bombs being developed by Iran is something to go to war over seems a bit of a stretch. They’re attempting to build something for the first time that the U.S. has been toying with for over fifty years. And they don’t even have the ICBM technology that North Korea did. Isreal finds it to be a national security problem but they have second strike capablilties. While MAD isn’t something really take seriously anymore, it seems to me that Iran wouldn’t randomly decide to use it’s brand new bomb on their neighbor just to have Isreal wipe them off the face of the planet afterwards. It may seem as though I am asking for far too much slack with my theories but, under the rational actor model, we assume all actors to be rational, that is; they all have an ordered list of priorities which they consult before taking action. I believe that the members of both the Isreali and Iranian government prioritize not just staying in power, but also staying alive above resorting to nuclear war just because they don’t like eachother. North Korea and South Korea didn’t; niether did Japan and North Korea. The Solvients never used their bombs in battle. We haven’t even used nuclear bombs since WWII and the U.S. has actually gone to war while having them. My point is, Iran will most likely finish it’s bomb but then just sit on it.
- Nuclear deal? New North Korea and Iran pact raises international concern (csmonitor.com)
- Iran pushes ahead in building nuclear reactor | Reuters (reuters.com)