In spite of the considerable strains on the nuclear order, there may be reason for optimism about nonproliferation: if Iran continues to adhere to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, there is no obvious next proliferator. Is such a benign assessment actually justified? If Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons, do any other states pose a significant proliferation threat in the next decade or so? If so, which countries and under what circumstances? What about in the longer term? Conversely, if Iran does cross the nuclear weapons threshold, what are the implications for further proliferation? In particular, are fears of a proliferation cascade in the Middle East well-founded or overhyped?
Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer, University of Oslo