Middle East Briefs

Parallel to the Center’s scholarly work, Middle East Briefs provides a brief analysis of a single issue at the top of the region’s political, social, or economic agenda. Targeted primarily at decision-makers and opinion leaders, the publication was launched in 2005.

Latest Brief

July 2023 – Iran's Nuclear Threat in the Biden Era: Israel's Response Options

Shai Feldman

Middle East Brief 155 (Summary) — Even as the Biden administration resumes informal talks with Iran over its nuclear program, American and Israeli military leaders recently warned that Iran is well on its way to becoming a “nuclear threshold state.” These developments pose challenges for Israel’s national security and also for other important regional and global players. In this Middle East Brief, Shai Feldman attempts to ascertain the possible regional and international consequences of Iran’s newly acquired status, explores Israel’s options for dealing with these consequences, and considers the risks and opportunities that may be associated with these policy options for Israel and the broader region. He concludes that most likely Israel will consider responding with measures to enhance its deterrence, either by obtaining a U.S. security guarantee or by upgrading Israel’s own nuclear posture to one of overt deterrence, thereby abandoning whatever ambiguity still surrounds Israel’s capabilities in this realm.

Read Middle East Brief 155 (PDF)

Shai Feldman is the Raymond Frankel Professor of Israeli Politics and Society and founding director of the Crown Center.