Iran Experts Discuss Costs and Benefits of Military Action in Iran
Today, on a briefing call with members of the press and the Truman community, Iran experts Jim Walsh and Joe Costa detailed the costs and benefits of military action in Iran.
On the call, Iran expert Jim Walsh highlighted the key findings in a recent report published by the Iran Project, “Weighing Benefits and Costs of Military Action in Iran.”
Walsh said that there are both costs and benefits associated with a strike, saying “We think that a U.S. military strike would delay the program up to 2-4 years. It could also reassure allies in the region that we have their backs. And, it could send a deterrence signal to other potential proliferators.”
“On the down side there is a concern that by taking military action against Iran it could produce the very thing we seek to avoid. That they will go from NOT having made a bomb decision to MAKING a bomb decision and then embarking on the program in a serious and focused way.”
Truman Fellow and Chair of the Truman Nuclear Expert group, Joe Costa, cautioned that “It is very important to take a step back and look at the overall trend lines in terms of where we sit today compared to where we were two years ago: First, we have an Iranian economy which is facing more difficulty than it has before; Second, Iran is encircled by strong military presence right now and number three, we have at least some activity in the negotiation process. This is 101 diplomacy. You want just enough pressure where you can come to the table and you can both reach some sort of agreement.”
Listen to a recording of the call here. The recording starts at the 9:20 mark.