Managing Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions


The Uni­ver­si­ty Chan­nel has post­ed an infor­ma­tive debate over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambi­tions. It fea­tures two major experts — Ken Waltz (Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty) and Scott Sagan (Stan­ford) — who have had a long run­ning debate over ways to han­dle nuclear pro­lif­er­a­tion in gen­er­al. You can catch the debate here in the fol­low­ing for­mats: MP3 audioMP4 videoStream­ing videoiTunes.

Below, you’ll find the Uni­ver­si­ty Chan­nel’s descrip­tion of the debate:

“In 1995, Scott Sagan and Ken­neth Waltz pub­lished their sem­i­nal work, “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate.” They staked out oppo­site ends of the the­o­ret­i­cal spec­trum with Waltz argu­ing that “more [nuclear armed states] could be bet­ter” and Sagan respond­ing that “more will be worse.”

On Feb­ru­ary 8th, 2007 at SIPA, they updat­ed their famed debate in the con­text of Iran. Will a nuclear-armed Iran be a source of sta­bil­i­ty in the world, or will it bring the Mid­dle East to the brink of dis­as­ter?

Sagan and Waltz debate this ques­tion along with ques­tions on the appro­pri­ate U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy in the Gulf, the effi­ca­cy of sanc­tions in restrain­ing Iran­ian nuclear ambi­tions, the like­ly response of Iran’s neigh­bors and many oth­ers.

Scott Sagan is co-direc­tor of Stan­ford University’s Cen­ter for Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty and Coop­er­a­tion and served as a spe­cial assis­tant to the direc­tor of the orga­ni­za­tion of the Joint Chief of Staff in the Pen­ta­gon.

Ken­neth Waltz is one of the pil­lars of Amer­i­can polit­i­cal sci­ence and co-founder of the struc­tur­al real­ism the­o­ry of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions. He is a Senior Research Schol­ar at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty and a Ford pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at UC Berke­ley. ”

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