Date of Graduation

Spring 2011


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Keith Payne


Iran, nuclear proliferation, Shi'a Islam, U.S. nuclear policy, nuclear deterrence

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The Islamic Republic of Iran has the political will, knowledge, and capability to develop and build nuclear weapons. The purpose of this thesis is to examine Iran's nuclear program and potential U.S. policy responses to the threat of a nuclear Iran. An examination of Iran's history, strategic culture, religion, governmental structure and society gives insight into Iran's motives for weaponization. The dynamics of dual-use technology, weaponization activities, and deception by the Iranian leadership require the United States to address the likelihood that Iran will continue to pursue nuclear weapons, will not peacefully change its current course, and without intervention, will succeed in its quest to become a nuclear power.


© Charles Forrest Yelverton

Campus Only