Abstract: This work compares and contrasts the theoretical models of realist and constructivist thought within international relations theory as they relate to the subject of Iranian nuclear proliferation. The spread of nuclear weapons to Iran and to the Middle East represents a unique international security dynamic that has not otherwise existed in the brief history of proliferation. Stratification of political, economic and cultural power at the regional and national levels alters the nature of traditional assumptions about deterrence and balances of power between states. This work is meant to contribute to the understanding of the rationales behind both past and future policy actions by Iran and its neighbours as both the region and the world struggle to cope with the diffusion of nuclear capabilities.
Keywords: Israel, Iran, nuclear proliferation, realism, constructivism, geopolitics