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Iran's possession of a nuclear weapon 'will surely upset the equilibrium of power.'

I need to replace the verb phrase with a noun/noun phrase.

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Hi, & welcome to EL&U. –  medica Dec 28 '13 at 0:45
    
Thank you. Great community. Great website. –  asef Dec 28 '13 at 0:48
    
Depending on your meaning, "tipping point" might work. It is a phrase that is perhaps over-used. –  Michael Owen Sartin Dec 28 '13 at 3:15
    
@MichaelOwenSartin - might be too limited culturally as well. –  medica Dec 28 '13 at 5:46
    
@Susan, I absolutely take your point. I'll be glad when I no longer hear 'tipping point,' but I thought it might serve a purpose here. If OP wants to use it he needs to see the good definition here: Tipping point -- the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place from merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tipping%20point –  Michael Owen Sartin Dec 28 '13 at 20:04

2 Answers 2

Iran's possession of a nuclear weapon will be a destabilising force.

The Spread of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East: “more may be ... current unipolar structure the spread of such weapons is a major destabilising force. . . ."

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Perturb works:

1: to cause to be worried or upset : disquiet 2: to throw into confusion : disorder 3: to cause to experience a perturbation

Nontechnically, the word might seem a little extreme for your purpose, but there is a technical extension that'll allow for more precise implications on your part: Perturbation theory.

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Trying to tie in perturbation theory is probably a stretch -- a perturbation in this case is a small displacement that causes a small effect. –  starwed Dec 28 '13 at 20:19
    
Sure, but 'destabilizing' for example implies the system is prone to catastrophe. Most systems when poked, reach at worst a slightly changed steady state, or 'equilibrium' in the common parlance. –  Wayfaring Stranger Dec 28 '13 at 21:55
    
I was under the impression that OP wanted a word that implied exactly the opposite -- they specifically say that the equilibrium will be upset. –  starwed Dec 28 '13 at 23:00

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