Reassessing the Implications of a Nuclear-Armed Iran   [open pdf - 787KB]

"To what degree have new information and the passage of time altered our understanding of the issue? Without question, much has changed since the 2001 assessment was written. Al Qaeda terrorists attacked the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC , on September 11, 2001. The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, the former because al Qaeda terrorists used it to shelter their organization and prepare for operations, and the latter because of Saddam Husayn's failure to comply with United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions on giving up his weapons of mass destruction programs and his alleged support to terrorist organizations, in particular al Qaeda. Beyond 9/11 and its aftermath, other developments have loomed large. On the political side, Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat died in 2004, the Palestinians held elections in January 2005, and after nearly 5 years of confrontation, Israelis and Palestinians may be on the road to negotiations. In Iran, conservatives won the majority seats in Majles elections in 2004 and also won the presidential election in 2005, giving them control of all branches of the government. None of these changes, in our estimation and that of the experts we consulted, have diverted Iran from its systematic pursuit of nuclear technology that could contribute to a weapons program, including uranium enrichment and a heavy water reactor."

Report Number:
McNair Paper No. 69
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Defense University, Institute for National Strategic Studies: http://www.ndu.edu/inss
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