Kenneth Waltz has a provocative article in the most recent Foreign Affairs (premium content, but available through the UBC network) arguing that Iran developing a nuclear weapon would actually make the world a safer place.
Most U.S., European, and Israeli commentators and policymakers warn that a nuclear-armed Iran would be the worst possible outcome of the current standoff. In fact, it would probably be the best possible result: the one most likely to restore stability to the Middle East.
Why? It would bring balance back in a region where Israel has dominance:
Israel’s regional nuclear monopoly, which has proved remarkably durable for the past four decades, has long fueled instability in the Middle East. In no other region of the world does a lone, unchecked nuclear state exist. It is Israel’s nuclear arsenal, not Iran’s desire for one, that has contributed most to the current crisis. Power, after all, begs to be balanced. What is surprising about the Israeli case is that it has taken so long for a potential balance to emerge.
It’s a classic deterrence argument. Do you buy it?
Check out a BBC debate about the article, and our podcast on the issue, where we speak to former US assistant secretary of defense, Lawrence Korb: