Nuclear Issues

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A worshipper holds up an anti-U.S. placard during a protest rally against a Bahrain police raid on a town home to prominent Shiite cleric sheikh Isa Qassim, after Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Friday, May 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Analysis & Opinions - Politico

Trump Is on a Collision Course With Iran

| June 20, 2017

Rarely has the Middle East been more baffling. The United States sells fighter jets to Qatar, a country the American president accuses of sponsoring terrorism. In Syria, the U.S. is relying on Kurdish fighters that Turkey, a NATO country closely aligned with Qatar, says are terrorists, supporting their mission to take Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital, with airstrikes launched from a giant U.S. base outside of Doha. The U.S. accuses Russia of complicity in the Syrian government’s chemical attacks on its own people, and hits Syrian forces, but hopes to collaborate with Moscow to fight ISIS.

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Analysis & Opinions - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Drawing a “Broader Conclusion” on Iran’s Nuclear Program

| June 2017

Under the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), key restrictions would expire if  the IAEA formally reaches a “broader conclusion” that Tehran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. Such a conclusion would result in the lifting of the UN’s remaining non-nuclear sanctions, including the ban on ballistic missile testing and the conventional arms embargo.  Furthermore, the U.S. and EU would delist additional entities from their sanctions lists.  Notably, the EU would delist all entities affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the organization responsible for both terrorist activities abroad as well as key aspects of the nuclear program.

Rouhani reelection rally

President.ir

Blog Post - Iran Matters

The Significance of Hassan Rouhani’s Reelection as President of Iran

    Author:
  • Ephraim Kam
| June 06, 2017

What can we expect from Rouhani’s second term? The large majority with which he won does not change the basic fact that the number one decision-maker in Iran remains Supreme Leader Khamenei. Ephraim Kam writes to Iran Matters that it is doubtful that Rouhani’s large majority will translate into greater power vis-à-vis Khamenei and the regime’s radical wing, as the president will likely continue to depend on them.

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

Iran Talks

Iran Talks

Report - Institute for Science and International Security

Is Iran Mass Producing Advanced Gas Centrifuge Components?

| May 30, 2017

The head of Iran’s nuclear program says Iran has the capability to initiate mass production of advanced centrifuges on short notice. The mass production of these centrifuges (or their components) would greatly expand Iran’s ability to sneak-out or breakout to nuclear weapons capability or surge the size of its centrifuge program if the deal fails or after key nuclear limitations end. If Salehi’s statement is true, Iran could have already stockpiled many advanced centrifuge components, associated raw materials, and the equipment necessary to operate a large number of advanced centrifuges. The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) need to determine the status of Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing capabilities, including the number of key centrifuge parts Iran has made and the amount of centrifuge equipment it has procured. They need to ensure that Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing is consistent with the intent of the nuclear deal as well as the deal’s specific limitations on advanced centrifuges. Moreover, the Iranian statement illuminates significant weaknesses in the Iran deal that need to be fixed.

iranians shopping in bazaar

AP

Analysis & Opinions

Economic challenges loom in Rohani’s second term

| May 28, 2017

Despite its flaws, the May 19 presidential election offered Iranian voters a real choice between the moderate incumbent President Hassan Rohani and a hard-line rival, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeisi. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani writes to The Arab Weekly that Rohani’s decisive win with 57% of the vote, combined with a sweep by reformist candidates in the city council elections in Tehran and several other major cities, gives him a strong mandate to move for­ward with his program of eco­nomic reform.

hassan rouhani reelection

Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

In Iran’s elections, the hard-liners lost. What comes next?

| May 26, 2017

More than forty million Iranians surged to the polls and voted last Friday to choose their country’s future path: between one of engagement and diplomacy with the West and one based on a self-reliant economic populism. Although Iranians overwhelmingly chose the former option, the implications of these elections indicate that major battles over the fight for the next Supreme Leader and the political identity of the country loom on the horizon. In his latest article to the Washington Post, Payam Mohseni, Director of the Belfer Center's Iran Project, discusses the nature of the conservative campaign against President Hassan Rouhani and how, win or lose, it is the tenability and success of this conservative alliance that will significantly impact the future path that Iran takes—not simply the current re-election of Rouhani to the presidency.

ibrahim raisi

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How Iran's Hard-Liners Are Challenging Rouhani (From the Left)

| May 18, 2017

Although Rouhani has an incumbent’s advantage, his promised economic revival is seen by many as having fallen short of his stated goals, and he has been the target of unceasing and strong allegations of corruption. Despite the fact that every Iranian president in the post-Khomeini period has served two terms, why is Rouhani in a precarious position? And what are the factors that anti-Rouhani forces are trying to use to their advantage? In an article to The National Interest, Payam Mohseni, Director of the Belfer Center's Iran Project, shows that recalling the lessons of the 2005 election, which brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, serves as a useful model in understanding this year’s contest and the challenges Rouhani faces in maintaining power.