Nuclear Issues

14 Items

The Bavand, one of two stranded Iranian vessels, sits anchored at the port in Paranagua, Brazil on July 25, 2019. In defiance of U.S. sanctions, Brazil's top court ordered state oil company Petrobras to supply fuel to two Iranian vessels that were stranded off the coast of Parana state since early June (AP Photo/Giuliano Gomes).

AP Photo/Giuliano Gomes

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

A Financial Sanctions Dilemma

| Winter 2020

Over the last two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of financial sanctions as an instrument of US foreign policy to address security threats ranging from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and terrorism to human rights violations and transnational crime. Washington’s policymakers have prized these tools for their ability to rapidly apply pressure against foreign targets with few perceived repercussions against American business interests. The problem, however, is that Washington is ignoring a growing tension between financial sanctions designed to support economic statecraft (with non-financial goals) and those designed to protect the international financial system. Confusing the two sends mixed signals to adversaries as well as allies and undermines US credibility and commitment to upholding international banking rules and norms. If Washington cannot reconcile these competing processes, it is unlikely that future administrations will enjoy the same foreign policy levers, leaving the United States at a significant disadvantage.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from his plane after traveling from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Vienna, Austria, on July 13, 2014 for allied talks with Iran about its nuclear program.

State Dept.

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Fool's Errand for a Perfect Deal with Iran

| Fall 2014

"The P5+1 should set aside the effort to craft an all-at-once comprehensive bargain and instead adopt a strategy of negotiating incremental agreements. An incremental approach has a number of advantages. The negotiators could focus on one sticking point at a time, without having to coordinate agreement on all of them at once. Negotiators could defer currently intractable issues, like enrichment capacity, until greater trust is built or new opportunities arise. Most importantly, the compromises already achieved under the JPA could be maintained and consolidated, independently of the ups and downs of ongoing negotiations."

Bushehr nuclear power plant's electricity generating section, Iran, Oct. 26, 2010. Iran began loading fuel into the core of its first nuclear power plant, moving closer to the facility's start up.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Iranian Quagmire: How to Move Forward. Position: Tit-for-Tat Diplomacy

| November/December 2010

"...Iran's nuclear strategy is based on mastering the independent nuclear fuel cycle, seeking a cooperative relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to its Safeguards Agreement, and enhancing regional and global nuclear disarmament. While Iran's progress in moving forward with the elements of this strategy brings challenges for the P5 + 1 group—namely reaching consensus on the mutual interests of all concerned parties—Iran supports continued discussions with this group to find a result acceptable to all parties in the diplomatic process."

Lebanese Shiite supporters wave Iranian and Lebanese flags at a rally addressed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Qana, Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2010. Hezbollah supporters rallied crowds for a visit that took Iran's president near the Israeli border.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs

Roles at Odds: The Roots of Increased Iran-U.S. Tension in the Post-9/11 Middle East

| Fall 2010

"The United States' determination on minimizing Iran's regional role has led in actuality to the adoption and pursuit of an oppositional posture and role on the part of Iran. This dichotomous situation and role-playing has important implications for foreign policymakers in Tehran and Washington. If the United States continues to ignore Iran's increased role in the region, Washington risks disrupting the natural power equations, potentially exacerbating the conflict. If, however, the United States can accept Iran's role in the region's new security architecture, especially in the Persian Gulf area, and change its policy of castigating Iran as the main source of threat for the region, Washington and Tehran can ultimately reach a practical rapprochement and find an accommodation that will advance the interests of both states in the region."

In this photo released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), the reactor building of Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is seen, just outside the port city of Bushehr 750 miles (1245 km) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Nov. 30, 2009

AP Photo

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

Iran's Foreign Policy Strategy after Saddam

| January 2010

"The prevailing view in the United States is that Ahmadinejad's foreign policy and Iran's increasing presence in the region has been offensive, expansionist, opportunistic, and often ideological. Though Iran has occasionally taken advantage of new opportunities, these characterizations have been exaggerated in the United States. Instead, Iran's action should be perceived in a more pragmatic light. Though Ahmadinejad may himself be an ideological and divisive figure, Iran's foreign policy strategy predates him and ought to be viewed as a wider Iranian effort to secure its geostrategic interests and national security concerns. Despite Ahmadinejad's tendencies to indulge his eccentricities, the logic of Iran's foreign policy decisionmaking process always ensures this return to pragmatism."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at a press conference in Tehran, Sep. 7, 2009. He said Iran will neither halt uranium enrichment nor negotiate over its nuclear rights but is ready to sit and talk with world powers over "global challenges."

AP Photo

Journal Article - World Policy Journal

The Paradox of Iran's Nuclear Consensus

| Fall 2009

"...[S]ituated in what it sees as a hostile neighborhood, it is hardly surprising that the Iranian government views an independent nuclear fuel cycle as interchangeable with deterrence, rather than as a bid for building a nuclear arsenal. While building a nuclear arsenal would be a costly endeavor, risking international isolation and assuring Iran's 'pariah status,' acquiring civilian nuclear capability would afford Iran the security and psychological edge it has long sought, and at a lower cost."

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, right sitting, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left sitting, sign a nuclear cooperation agreement at a ceremony in Rome's Villa Madama residence, Feb. 24, 2009.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Spreading Temptation: Proliferation and Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreements

| Summer 2009

Matthew Fuhrmann's article "Spreading Temptation: Proliferation and Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreements," was published by in the Summer 2009 issue of International Security. In his article, Dr. Fuhrmann argues "Peaceful nuclear cooperation—the transfer of nuclear technology, materials, or know-how from one state to another for peaceful purposes—leads to the spread of nuclear weapons. With a renaissance in nuclear power on the horizon, major suppliers, including the United States, should reconsider their willingness to assist other countries in developing peaceful nuclear programs."

Philip Goldberg, right, a United States envoy in charge of coordinating the implementation of sanctions against North Korea, speaks after meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, China, July 2, 2009.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Arms Control Today

Ending North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions: The Need for Stronger Chinese Action

| July/August 2009

North Korea has recently taken a series of provocative steps to challenge the international community. If unchecked, North Korea will surely increase the quantity and quality of its arsenal. Even worse, once Pyongyang has more than enough weapons for its deterrent, it might be tempted to sell the surplus. The longer the crisis lasts, the more nuclear capable North Korea will become and the more difficult it will be to roll back Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.  A nuclear North Korea would put China's national interests at great risk. Beijing can increase pressure on Pyongyang, using positive inducements and punitive measures. The chances are low, however, that Beijing will radically adjust its North Korea policy, at least for the near future. Beijing will continue to maintain its bottom-line approach, avoiding war on the Korean peninsula and an abrupt collapse of the Kim regime. From China's perspective, these scenarios must be avoided at all costs because they are contrary to China's primary interest in a stable environment.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, center, watches flight training as he inspects the Korean People's Army Air Force Unit 814 at an unknown location in North Korea.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Foreign Policy

Don't Play Nuclear Chicken with a Desperate Pariah

| June 19, 2009

"This game of escalation will go on and on until North Korea gets what it desires most from Washington: a reliable security assurance. Of course, no one likes to yield to dictators. But ultimately, playing chicken with a desperate and nuclear-armed North Korea is too risky to endeavor. The more isolated the North Koreans become, the more likely they will be to use the nuclear card in threatening two hostages: South Korea and Japan. Everyone loses that game"

Journal Article - China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly

Energy Supply and Demand in Eurasia: Cooperation between EU and Iran

| November 2007

Energy diversification has emerged as one of the most important priorities for a majority of the European countries and the EU. Growing energy demand in Europe combined with a high reliance on Russia as an energy producer have led the EU to look to the Caspian Sea region for alternative energy resources, especially in natural gas. Iran has the 2nd largest natural gas reserves in the world and could assist Europe in diversifying supplies. This article argues that there is substantial potential for energy cooperation between Iran and the European countries, particularly Turkey. Increased Iranian participation in the Eurasian energy market, both as consumer and producer, could lead to other benefits including economic development and more efficient energy extraction.