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Argument: Allies of Middle East will prevent a nuclear Iran from dominating

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Dr. Barry Posen writes in a February 28, 2006 article in the New York Times: "Because many of Iran's neighbors lack nuclear weapons, it's possible that Iran could use a nuclear capacity to blackmail such states into meeting demands - for example, to raise oil prices, cut oil production or withhold cooperation with the United States. But many of Iran's neighbors are allies of the United States, which holds a strategic stake in their autonomy and is unlikely to sit by idly as Iran blackmails, say, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. It is unlikely that these states would capitulate to a nuclear Iran rather than rely on an American deterrent threat. To give in to Iran once would leave them open to repeated extortion."[1]

Indira A.R. Lakshmanan. "Iran Might Be Deterred by U.S. Nuclear Umbrella, Gulf Ally Says". Bloomberg. April 9, 2009 - April 9 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration should consider countering an Iranian threat by offering Middle East allies protection under a “nuclear umbrella,” a United Arab Emirates official said, as the U.S. announced plans to join international talks with Iran.

The official referred to a similar proposal by then-Senator Hillary Clinton during an April 2008 presidential campaign debate with then-Senator Barack Obama. Such a security guarantee would assuage widespread fears about Iran’s nuclear program among its neighbors, the U.A.E. official said yesterday in Washington.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity, said the notion that the U.S. would threaten to retaliate with nuclear weapons should its Persian Gulf allies come under attack would have a powerful deterrent effect on an Iranian weapons program.


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