Nuclear Normalization: Rapprochement with an Atomic Iran (November 2010)

On an almost daily basis, American pundits and government officials warn of the consequences of a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic of Iran and outline what the United States must do about it. Some argue for preventive action to fend off apocalypse, as President George W. Bush famously warned of a “Middle East under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.” Others temper this dystopia with reassurances that Iran, even with nuclear weapons, can be effectively contained and deterred from first strike. Neither of these scenarios captures the broader effects on US-Iran relations. In fact, Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability would have a stabilizing effect on US-Iran relations. The two states would move toward rapprochement because the benefits of normalization as well as the costs of non-normalization will become greater and more overt to both sides.


Kayvon Afshari

Kayvon Afshari managed the campaign to elect Hooshang Amirahmadi as President of Iran. In this role, he directed the campaign’s event planning, publicity, online social media, web analytics, and delivered speeches. Mr. Afshari has also been working at the CBS News foreign desk for over five years. He has coordinated coverage of Iran’s 2009 post-election demonstrations, the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti, and many other stories of international significance. He holds a Master in International Relations from New York University’s Department of Politics, and graduated with distinction from McGill University in 2007 with a double major in political science and Middle Eastern studies. At NYU, his research focused on quantitative analysis and the Middle East with an emphasis on US-Iran relations. In his 2012 Master’s thesis, he devised a formula to predict whether Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, concluding that an overt strike would not materialize.