Iran can be stopped

Prospect Magazine

Iran can be stopped

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Sanctions and the threat of military action may dissuade Iran from building a bomb

A surface-to-surface missile is launched during a test in Iran, 20th August 2010


It is not inevitable that Iran will arm itself with nuclear weapons. Nor is a military strike by Israel or the United States the only alternative. Such worst-case assumptions could lead to another unnecessary war in the Middle East, this time possibly lasting a decade or more.

This is not to downplay Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities. It has developed more advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium—material that can power a reactor or produce an explosion. It has increased production of enriched uranium at a level that is close to the quality needed for a weapon. It has also begun carrying out enrichment at the deeply buried facility at Fordow (see map p28), beyond reach of Israeli conventional air strikes. Those steps all move Iran closer to the point of being able to produce a weapon.

Iran has also

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Author

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick
Mark Fitzpatrick is senior fellow for non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and formerly served at the US state department in a number of roles, including deputy assistant secretary for non-proliferation 


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