Rand: U.S. pledges on Iran no longer reassure neighboring states

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WASHINGTON — Middle East states were not expected to change their policies toward Iran regardless of guarantees by the United States, a report said.

The report by the Rand Corp. said U.S. allies in the Middle East were not expected to change their opposition to Teheran’s nuclear weapons program. Rand, in a report for the U.S. Air Force, asserted that Israel as well as Gulf Cooperation Council states would not be assuaged by U.S. promises to protect them from an Iranian nuclear strike.

“The reticence on the part of the GCC states, especially Saudi Arabia, arises from likely domestic political opposition, their expected continuing interest in keeping open some cooperation with Iran, and their potential concerns that such a military expansion may only embolden rather than deter Iranian aggression and make them potential military targets,” the report, titled “Iran’s Nuclear Future: Critical U.S. Policy Choices Prepared for the U.S. Air Force,” said. “Relying too heavily on U.S. nuclear capabilities, in Israel’s view, could erode its own nuclear deterrent.”

The report, released earlier this month, warned that Iran could decide to use its nuclear weapons arsenal under threat of regime collapse. Rand urged the U.S. Air Force to conduct exercises and test a new bunker-buster to prepare for any war with Iran.

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