Date of Graduation

Winter 12-14-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies

Department/Program

International Studies

First Advisor

Stephen Zunes

Second Advisor

Anne Bartlett

Abstract

In the months leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election, a number of Republican candidates that were vying for the nomination against the incumbent, Barack Obama, made sensational claims regarding the “Nuclear Iran Question”. This study discusses the issue of a nuclear Iran, what this means for regional stability, and what America’s options are in dealing with the Islamic Republic. Specifically the researcher addresses the consequences of a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, conducting a discourse analysis for the purposes of demonstrating the polarizing affect this issue has had on some of the leading scholars, theorists and practitioners. The central argument of this study states that the growing consensus of military intervention in the US and Israeli defense community must be curbed: military action against Iran would produce more negative than positive outcomes. Despite recent claims from President Obama, diplomacy has not been exhausted. Therefore the author suggests the need for an overhaul in diplomatic measures toward Iran. In order for the US, Iran, and Israel to begin an era of warmer relations, the US is in the best position to begin negotiations based on equanimity and tolerance.