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War with Iran: Will brinkmanship deter Iran from building the bomb?

  • Mathematics


This paper applies a standard model of brinkmanship as a way of analyzing the likelihood that Iran will respond to the threat of war by capitulating on its nuclear weapons ambitions. We find that it is always possible to generate such a threat as long as Iranian payoffs are non negative. Further, the upper limit on the threat depends on how deeply the international community feels about a nuclear armed Iran relative to its own costs from a possible war. We do not claim that this paper has any great theoretical insight -- however it is an analytical narrative that may help focus the attention of policy makers on the parameters that drive the success, or failure, of brinkmanship in the Iranian context.

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