Nuclear Issues

18 Items

Blog Post - Iran Matters

How to put some teeth into the nuclear deal with Iran

| Aug. 27, 2015

Dennis Ross, International Council Member of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and David Petraeus, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center, write in The Washington Post that it is necessary for the United States to continue to project a strong deterrent to Iran in order to insure that it does not develop nuclear weapons after the expiration of the most stringent controls of the nuclear deal. Specifically, they argue that the United States should provide Israel with the Massive Ordinance Penetrator bomb, capable of destroying the most heavily defending Iranian nuclear sites, in order to strengthen the deterrent against trying to break out and built a nuclear weapon.

new start treaty closing negotiations

US Department of State

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Lessons Learned from Past WMD Negotiations

| June 26, 2015

Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on lessons from prior weapons of mass destruction negotiations for the current talks with Iran over its nuclear program. Drawing on arms control agreements during the Cold War and the post-Cold War era, he argued that negotiated agreements on nuclear weapons are a crucial part of American national security although they are complementary to, and not an alternative to, other military, diplomatic, covert, and economic means of geopolitical competition, that no arms agreement is perfect from the perspective of both sides as they are by nature negotiated settlements, claims that the United States can't or should make agreements with "evil" regimes or those that cannot be trusted are false, the United States can make agreements with regimes that it is trying to contain or subvert in other ways, and which are in turn engaging in other actions that are threatening American citizens and soldiers, arms control agreements overall have reduced the number of nuclear weapons and helped reduce the likelihood of war, and that there is no "good" or "bad" agreement on its own, but only when assessed against alternative options.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Lessons Learned from Past Negotiations to Prevent Nuclear Proliferation

| June 26, 2015

William Tobey, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on lessons from prior arms control and disarmament agreements for the current negotiations with Iran. Using examples from Iraq, North and Libya, he identified five key patterns for arms control negotiators to be cognizant of, including the fact that decisions to disarm are usually incomplete and taken incrementally, deceptive actions by the proliferator can appear as progress, strong verification and intelligence measures can deter cheating while lax verification can encourage it, verification is built on checking declarations for inconsistencies, and inspections are only as effective as political support.  From these lessons, he identified three key lessons, including a complete declaration of nuclear activities is crucial, unwillingness to provide this declaration is evidence of Iran's willingness to comply with a full agreement, and successful agreements require vigilance over time, and cannot be considered solved after an agreement is signed.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal

Apr. 15, 2015

On April 2, 2015, the EU (on behalf of the P5+1 countries) and Iran announced agreement on “key parameters” for a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. The EU-Iran Joint Statement is buttressed by unilateral fact sheets issued by the U.S. and Iran, which provide further details of the framework accord.  Not surprisingly, differences have emerged between the U.S. and Iranian versions of the deal. These differences reflect both political spin and remaining issues that have not been resolved.  In the next phase of this process, the negotiators will seek to finalize a comprehensive agreement by June 30, 2015.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

The Iran Project Statement on the Announcement of a Framework for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement with Iran

Apr. 07, 2015

Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Nicholas Burns, Professor of Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, Michele Flournoy, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center and CEO of the Center for New American Security, James Cartwright, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center, Joseph Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, and Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research at the Belfer Center are all signatories of the Iran Project statement on the recently released framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 regarding its nuclear program. The statement recognizes both the successes of the negotiations thus far, while also noting specific areas that require further progress.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Belfer Center scholars weigh the extension of negotiations with Iran past November 24th

Eight members of the Belfer Center's Iran Working Group—Graham Allison, Stephen Bosworth, Chuck Freilich, Nader Habibi, Martin Malin, Payam Mohseni, Gary Samore, and William Tobey—comment on the extension of nuclear negotiations with Iran beyond November 24th and consider potential determinants of the talks'  success in the coming months.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Iran nuclear talks headed for overtime, predict experts

Nov. 19, 2014

Laura Rockwood, Senior Research Fellow in the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center, discusses the likely outcome of the current phase of Iranian nuclear negotiations, which conclude on November 24th, in an interview with Deutsche Welle. She doubts that a full comprehensive agreement will be reached on the 24th, and argues that some extension of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) will continue with an extension of the negotiations.