Nuclear Issues

11 Items

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.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Cardin introduces Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015

| Oct. 04, 2015

Henry Rome reviews the latest version of the Iran oversight legislation drafted by Sen. Ben Cardin (D, Maryland). Since publishing a “discussion draft” last month, Cardin removed language related to Iranian production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) but retained sections permitting new terrorism sanctions and increasing defense assistance to Israel.

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

How to Make Sure Iran's One Year Nuclear Breakout Time Does not Shrink

| June 20, 2015

Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Simon Henderson, Baker Fellow at the Washington Institute for Middle East Policy, write for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that the final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program needs to take into account the efficiency of Iranian centrifuges when calculating breakout time, and not just the number of centrifuges allowed to enrich. They note that the exact efficiency in Separative Work Units (SWUs) of the Iranian IR-1 centrifuge is not exactly known, and therefore it is very possible that American estimates of Iran's enrichment capacity dangerously underestimates how much Iran is able to enrich, meaning that estimates putting its breakout time at one year are are inaccurate. They argue that it is necessary to understand exactly how efficient the Iranian centrifuges are in order to understand how many Iran needs to maintain a breakout time of about one year, and that this figure cannot only be calculated from the number of centrifuges Iran possess.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Expert opinions on the extension of negotiations

| July 22, 2014

Nine foreign policy experts—Nicholas Burns, Chuck Freilich, Orde Kittrie, Martin Malin, Gary Samore, Michael Singh,Ariane Tabatabai, Will Tobey, and Mark Wallace—write on what they believe the extension of P5+1 talks will mean for the future of nuclear negotiations with Iran. 

Blog Post - Iran Matters

The interim agreement makes an Iranian bomb less likely

| Nov. 26, 2013

The Israeli writer Ari Shavit had a piece in the November 20 New York Times that asserted that the proposed first-stage deal with Iran “would guarantee” that Iran would eventually build a nuclear bomb.  I think he’s completely wrong, for reasons I explained in an op-ed of my own in the Christian Science Monitor.