Nuclear Issues

933 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran’s Missile Tests Reveal Weaknesses of UN Security Council Resolution

| Feb. 08, 2017

Iran’s latest missile test on January 29 received a swift response, as warranted. The United Nations Security Council called for an emergency session, and on February 2, the U.S. Treasury imposed new sanctions on persons and entities involved with Tehran’s ballistic missile program. Iran responded equally swiftly. An Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander proclaimed that a separate, large-scale military missile exercise underway in Semnan province was intended to “showcase the power of Iran’s revolution and to dismiss the sanctions.” Officials in Iran have vowed to continue testing ballistic missiles and dismissed claims that its program is a cover to develop long-range projectiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The United States and its allies should demand that Tehran uphold its obligation not to conduct tests of nuclear-capable ballistic or cruise missiles.

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Analysis & Opinions - NPR.org

After Missile Launch, White House Warns Iran But Offers No Action Plan

| Feb. 02, 2017

Nicholas Burns talks with NPR's All Things Considered 

The White House says it's putting Iran officially "on notice" after its missile launch over the weekend. But officials offered no details on what exactly that means, or whether military options are on the table. It's another example of what's already emerging as a pattern for the Trump administration: coming out swinging with tough words, before having consulted or decided on an actual policy.

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Ensuring Iran’s Enrichment R&D is for Peaceful Purposes

| January 26, 2017

Iran announced last week that it would start feeding its first IR-8 centrifuges with uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6). The 2015 Iran nuclear deal states that Tehran’s breakout time (the time needed to enrich uranium enough for a nuclear bomb) is one year, but that is based on Iran only using the first-generation, less-efficient IR-1 centrifuges. With more powerful IR-8s and other advanced centrifuges, Iran could enrich uranium for a weapon much faster. In three to four years, the country could be able to deploy large numbers of advanced centrifuges – if it can convince the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it should be treated like any other nation, without restriction on its nuclear and enrichment activities.

Karbala Iraq Shia

David Stanley/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Iran's Axis of Resistance Rises: How It's Forging a New Middle East

| Jan. 24, 2017

In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously stated that the world was witnessing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” She was right—but not in the sense she had hoped. Instead of disempowering Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, the war only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the “axis of resistance,” a power bloc that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Palestine.

Rouhani

Russia President

Blog Post - Iran Matters

A Possible Trump Administration’s Iran Policy: Constraints and Options

    Author:
  • Ephraim Kam
| Jan. 20, 2017

A key foreign affairs issue for the Trump administration will be its policy on Iran, as was the case also for the Obama administration. But we have no idea what approach it will take, an uncertainty amplified by the fact that Trump has no experience whatsoever in foreign policy, and no idea whose input he will accept in shaping it. It’s not as if we have no information about his attitude – during the election campaign, Trump made his intention on Iran very clear – but, as with other topics, it is unclear how he will act when once he is forced to translate his intentions into action and realizes that reality is far more complicated than he imagined.

Trump Israel Wisconsin tweet

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Messiah Hasn't Come. He Only Tweets.

| Jan. 18, 2017

"Only one thing is clear: Trump will be a one-issue president — his own personal benefit — and that this consideration will guide his entire presidency. This predilection has already been manifested in a series of statements and actions, often in tweets, that are indicative of the impending changes in U.S. policy. Policy changes are legitimate, that is what he was elected for, but the overall impression is that Trump is motivated by fleeting political and personal gain, rather than deep strategic thought."

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with United States President Barack Obama during a bilateral meeting at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, September 21, 2016 in New York City.

Drew Angerer / Pool via CNP /MediaPunch/IPX

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Obama and Israel: Farewell to a True Friend

| Jan. 17, 2017

Addressing the delegates to the AIPAC National Conference on March 21, 2016, then candidate for president Donald Trump asserted that President Barack Obama “may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it and you know it better than anybody." This view is still shared by many right-wing Israelis as well as by many members of the American Jewish community. Yet nothing can be farther than the truth.

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

Wikimedia Commons

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

| January 10, 2017

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. The imports are permitted by the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but nonetheless significantly exceed Iran’s needs for natural (that is, unenriched) uranium over the next 15 years. Iran’s import of such high levels of uranium suggests it may be stockpiling uranium to reach nuclear breakout before the deal’s initial limitations expire in 2031.

The JCPOA permits Iran to buy natural uranium to “replenish” its stocks as it sells enriched uranium on the international market. To date, Iran has had difficulties locating a buyer for its enriched uranium stocks – unsurprising, given the current excess of commercially available enriched uranium. This, however, has not stopped Iran from buying and stockpiling more yellowcake.

Iranian Moves Offer Opportunity to Improve JCPOA

Iran Talks

Analysis & Opinions - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iranian Moves Offer Opportunity to Improve JCPOA

| December 23, 2016

Congress extended the Iran Sanctions Act earlier this month, prompting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to order retaliatory steps.  Tehran protested to the EU,  claiming the extension is a violation of last summer’s nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA – and requesting a meeting of the joint committee  established to settle disputes over the deal’s implementation. Based on Rouhani’s same directive, Iran has also ordered its scientists to develop a plan to design and manufacture a nuclear-propulsion system and fuel for marine transportation.