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Published on Mar 13, 2012
The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) hosted a debate on whether the United States should take military action against Iran's nuclear program. As the international community has been unable to validate Iran's claim that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful use, there has been a renewed debate on the potential for military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. If Iran is developing its nuclear program for military purposes, would deterrence work or would a containment regime prove ineffective and costly? Following a military strike, how would the United States prevent Iran from restarting its nuclear program with greater fervor? Are the costs of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon more dire than the potential risks of Iranian retaliation after an attack?