Is the United States really willing to use military action to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon? Under Barack Obama that has been the oft-repeated US policy, but several developments allowed the question to fade into the background.
Progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran, particularly the recently announced framework, has created an atmosphere of peaceful resolution and dimmed the prospect of conflict over them.
This has been compounded by the administration’s risk-averse attitude towards the use of force in the Middle East. Above all, the sudden reversal in 2013 on Syria’s use of chemical weapons calls into question the American willingness to use force, even when there is an explicit policy in a specific case to do precisely that.