Paul Rogers

1 February 2006

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This briefing paper, written by our Global Security Consultant, Professor Paul Rogers, provides a comprehensive analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran's nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which would be extensive.

An attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would signal the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably grow to involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, as well as the USA and Iran. The report concludes that a military response to the current crisis in relations with Iran is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further.

Alternative approaches must be sought, however difficult these may be.


  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. The US Context
  4. The Israeli Factor
  5. The Iranian Context
  6. Current Circumstances in Iran
  7. The Nature of US Military Action
  8. Pre-empting Iranian Responses
  9. Casualties
  10. Iranian Responses
  11. Wider Responses
  12. Israeli Military Action
  13. Conclusion