Iran, the Persian Gulf and American Security •WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT IRAN? • http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/images/maps/Persian_Gulf_lg.jpg • CFR Iran brief- http://www.cfr.org/interactives/CG_Iran/index.html State supporters of terrrorism http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2011/195547.htm Statute toppling - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDu7bXqx8Ig OIL • The Persian Gulf produced 28% of the world’s oil supply and the countries in the region hold 55% of the world’s crude oil reserves. • One fifth of the world oil supply transits the Straight of Hormuz, which is 600 miles long, as narrow as 34 miles and has a 2 mile wide channel. • http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/images/maps/P ersian_Gulf_lg.jpg WHY DO WE CARE? • Support for terrorist groups 1. Hezbollah 2. Hamas State Sponsors of Terrorism In order to designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. State Sponsors of Terrorism • In order to designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. • Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria • In the recent past – Libya and Iraq • Who might be added? Removed? The 5th Amendment vs. Drone Strikes • --No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, .. • --The confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of American lawful: The suspect poses an imminent threat, capture must be “infeasible, and the strike must be conducted according to “law of war principles.” WHY DO WE CARE? • Regional Stability 1. Afghanistan 2. Iraq 3. Syria Not to mention all the countries with a Sunni majority like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states WHY DO WE REALLY CARE? • It has a nuclear program 1. But what does that mean? 2. It has signed the NPT-obligations and rights. 3. Capability vs. intent. WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS AND THE COSTS OF THOSE OPTIONS? According to the FAS study: 1. Increasing pressure - $64 billion 2. Isolation and a blockade - $325 billion 3. Surgical strikes - $713 billion 4. Comp. bombing campaign - $1.2 trillion 5. Full scale invasion - $1.7 trillion 6. De-escalation – benefit of $60 billion Weighing the Benefits and Costs of Military Action Against Iran • Extended military strikes would set back the program up to 4 years. • Regime change would require occupation and a cost equal to Iraq and Afghanistan • Israel could probably not do it alone The benefits of military action • • • • Damage Iran’s enrichment facilities Damage Iran’s military capabilities Demonstrate US seriousness and credibility Help to deter nuclear weapons proliferation Potential costs • • • • • Direct Iranian retaliation against the U.S. Iranian strikes against Israel Indirect retaliation Breakdown of global solidarity against Iran Increased likelihood of Iran becoming a nuclear state • Global political and economic instability • Damage to the US global reputation • Unify Iranians behind their government Time to Attack Iran? • Iran operatives were planning to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US. • Sanctions are not working and Iranian nuclear development continues, but an attack could convince them to give up their program. • The U.S. will have to keep forces in the region for years to come to contain Iran. • Civilian casualties come be limited. • The US could reassure the Iranian government its intention was not regime change. • The US could draw red lines to prevent Iranian retaliation • The US should conduct a surgical strike, absorb any retaliation and then seek quickly to de-escalate. IF WE ATTACK-• • • • • Who is going to join us? Will it be legal? What will the rest of the world think? What are the unknown unknowns? Who is pushing for an attack?