Tamer Mahboub


Research Question: Why would Iran insist on pursuing its nuclear ambiguity policy despite its status as a party to the NPT and international sanctions? The study findings indicate that although there is no conclusive proof that Iran has a weapons program, Iran could be pursuing a strategy of a nuclear ambiguity; the possibility it may have a weapons program acts as a deterrent against potential existential threats to its national security. These findings were based on evidence gathered through interviews with various experts, and conducting a comparison between the conventional weapons possessed by Iran and those possessed by neighboring countries in light of the nature of the existential threats that face Iran. Iran feels that it lives in a hostile environment in the region, and faces collective threats from its adversaries which threaten its national security. Hence, nuclear weapons, or the threat of, could balance nuclear threats that cannot be dealt with through conventional weapons.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Global Affairs

Graduation Date


Submission Date

November 2013

First Advisor

Hodgkins, Allison

Committee Member 1

Aboul-Enein, Sameh

Committee Member 2

Awad, Ibrahim


74 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Nuclear weapons -- Iran.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Iran -- Politics and government -- 21st century.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


A special appreciation is due to Ambassador Sameh Aboul-Enein for his great role and support to me before and during writing this thesis. Actually he influenced me a lot in the intertiol security field, and helped me also in selecting the topic of the thesis. Dr. Sameh gave me the support also in conducting interviews with prominent scholars, experts, diplomats and professors in different fields related to intertiol security. I am deeply indebted to Dr. Allison Hodgkins who, as my supervisor, gave me great experience in writing an academic thesis, as it is the first time to develop such a piece of work. Her wide experience shaped my intellectual and persol growth so much. I would like also to send a big 'thank you' for all interviewees who participated in this study for their valuable time and opinions that helped much bringing this research to light.