# Why does iron only have 2+ and 3+ oxidation states?

Both $F e \left(I I\right)$ and $F e \left(I I I\right)$ are common oxidation states of iron. They are not the ONLY oxidation states exhibited by iron metal.
The electronic structure of the iron atom predisposes the stability of $F {e}^{2 +}$ and $F {e}^{3 +}$. Other oxidation states are viable. Offhand I can think of $F e \left(- I I\right) , F e \left(- I\right)$, $F e \left(0\right)$, $F e \left(V I +\right)$.