By Robert Schlesinger |
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.
Jamie M. Fly Former Director for Counterproliferation Strategy at the National Security Council
Matthew Duss Director of Middle East Progress at the Center for American Progress