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ABSTRACT. Ambiguity in Iran’s weapon acquisition dynamics exacerbates mistrust, which is the core reason for the present standoff at the negotiating table. In this paper, I elucidate the Iranian military’s capability and intention by delving into the main componential elements of weapon acquisition. Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are not suitable for the Iranian Army, given its non-mechanized nature; its defensive military posture; its current status as a non-nuclear weapon state; and its sufficient conventional preparation to meet its protective security interests. This paper proposes three interlinked policy approaches to resolve the current impasse: (1) utilize Iran’s technological dependency by requiring maximum international supervision of its dual-use but peaceful technology; (2) encourage Iran’s problem-solving role and pacific behavior by streamlining the current sanctions to avoid harming the Iranian economy as a whole; and (3) consider an alternative, non-coercive policy that respects Iran’s legitimate technological and conventional defensive needs. This non-coercive approach would open the door to collaboration rather than confrontation through a gradual, piecemeal, and reversible policy. pp. 13–36

Keywords: Iran; WMD; nonproliferation; military dynamics; conflict resolution

How to cite: Salsabili, Mansour (2014), "Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Military Dynamics of Nonproliferation," Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 6(2): 13–36.

MANSOUR SALSABILI
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,
Harvard Kennedy School,
Harvard University

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