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Debate Club

Should the United States Consider Military Action to Hinder Iran's Nuclear Program?

Should the United States Consider Military Action to Hinder Iran's Nuclear Program?

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, recently released a report detailing Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb. Though the report did not specifically say that it had evidence of Iran building an atomic bomb, it did cite findings that Iran was testing nuclear-compatible detonators, adding, “The application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear explosive is unclear to the agency.” Iranian officials condemned the report, calling it “unbalanced, unprofessional, and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure by mostly the United States.” The report has revived the debate over how best to deal with the possibility of an Iranian atomic weapon. During the CBS/National Journal foreign policy debate, Republican candidates criticized Obama’s handling of Iran’s nuclear program. Former Gov. Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich both promised to use military action if other methods failed to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. However, scarred by the memories of Iraq, others are wary of a war with Iran. “It’s not worthwhile to go to war,” said Rep. Ron Paul.

Here is the Debate Club’s take on whether the United States should consider using military action to hinder Iran’s nuclear program.


The Arguments

#1
209 Pts
Incite Change From Within Iran

No – Incite Change From Within Iran

Alireza Jafarzadeh Author of 'The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis'

#2
139 Pts
Let Opposition Groups Do the Hindering

No – Let Opposition Groups Do the Hindering

Raymond Tanter Founder of the Iran Policy Committee

#3
34 Pts
Only Threat of Military Action Will Stop Iran

Yes – Only Threat of Military Action Will Stop Iran

Michael Eisenstadt Director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

#4
12 Pts
Military Action Might Be The Only Option With Iran

Yes – Military Action Might Be The Only Option With Iran

Jamie M. Fly Former Director for Counterproliferation Strategy at the National Security Council

#5
-2 Pts
Diplomacy Best Option in Dealing with Iran's Nuclear Aims

No – Diplomacy Best Option in Dealing with Iran's Nuclear Aims

Matthew Duss Director of Middle East Progress at the Center for American Progress

#6
-13 Pts
Learn the Lessons from Iraq

No – Learn the Lessons from Iraq

Justin Logan Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute

#7
-64 Pts
An Attack Would Only Strengthen Iran's Influence

No – An Attack Would Only Strengthen Iran's Influence

James Dobbins Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation


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