The super power versus a regional power : a game theoretical approach to the current nuclear tension between the US and Iran
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This thesis investigates how the nuclear tension between Iran and the US is likely to result. Game theoretical analyses are applied in order to develop the argument of this study. First, the reason why states pursue nuclear weapons and the factors that push Iran to go nuclear are analyzed. Second, the mutual threat perceptions between the US and Iran are analyzed and the effect of such perceptions on Iran’s nuclear venture is investigated. Third, three US policy options, namely diplomacy, military operation and stimulating a regime change, are elaborated. Fourth, the interaction between the US and Iran is analyzed by using two different forms of games, complete and incomplete information, and two different methods, backwards induction and Bayes’s theorem. It is concluded that Iran’s nuclear pursuit is mostly security based and the nuclear tension between Iran and the US creates a vicious circle. While Iran is going for nuclear weapons primarily to protect itself from the external threats, the US challenge to Iran’s nuclear pursuit poses a security threat to Iran and makes Iranians much more eager to develop their own nuclear weapon capability.