Nuclear Issues

12 Items

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Relations with Iran: Questions to Consider

Spring 2016

With the successful implementation of the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, a new chapter has opened between Iran and the international community, including the United States. Nevertheless, the future path of bilateral relations between the United States and Iran is uncertain and many challenges exist as the two countries attempt to formulate new terms of engagement. What should U.S. policy be towards Iran after the nuclear agreement? Can the agree­ment open the door to effective collaboration on areas of mutual interest, especially given the rising security challenges and rapidly changing dynamics of the Middle East? Or, will strategic rivalries between Iran and the United States con­tinue to shape and impede cooperation?

Negotiations about Iranian Nuclear Program

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions

What do we learn from the Iran agreement experience?

| September 5, 2015

"Now that President Barack Obama has secured more than enough votes in the U.S. Senate to assure the implementation of the agreement with Iran on nuclear issues and sanctions, we can focus on the lessons learned from the process’ intense political dynamics. Three in particular stand out: U.S.-Israeli, U.S.-Saudi Arabian/Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and GCC-Iranian relations. U.S.-Israeli bilateral ties get the most attention these days, but all three are equally important, and turbulent in their own ways."

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Sanctions Against Iran: A Guide to Targets, Terms, and Timetables

| June 2015

To assist Members of Congress and observers in analyzing these issues and judging a potential comprehensive agreement, the Belfer Center prepared this brief to outline the key facets of sanctions against Iran. Written as an addendum to our April policy brief, ‘Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal,’ this report is driven by the policy debate’s leading questions.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal

| April 2015

On April 2, 2015, the E.U. (speaking on behalf of the P5+1 countries) and Iran announced agreement on “key parameters” for a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. The E.U.-Iran Joint Statement is buttressed by unilateral facts sheets issued by the U.S. and Iran, which provide further details of the framework accord. Negotiators now turn to translating this framework accord into a final comprehensive agreement by June 30, 2015. Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as informed citizens, are now focusing on the Iranian challenge and assessing the framework accord. The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School has prepared this Policy Brief summarizing key facts, core concepts, and major arguments for and against the current deal aimed at stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The purpose of this Policy Brief is not to advocate support for or opposition to the tentative deal that has been negotiated, but rather to provide an objective, nonpartisan summary to inform Members and others in coming to their own conclusions. The team of experts who prepared this report includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and internationals, who have many disagreements among themselves but who agree that this Brief presents the essentials objectively.

Analysis & Opinions - Woodrow Wilson Center Press

What Next For Iran and the P5+1

| November 2014

In the wake of yet another extension in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, the next step for the United States to move toward a final comprehensive agreement with Iran is to engage with those Iranians it likes the least—the hardliners. Crafting a sophisticated agreement capable of persuading Iranian hardliners and the Revolutionary Guards to accept a final deal is essential to moving the negotiations forward. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his moderate team of negotiators are constrained by the hardliners who, in turn, have nothing to lose if negotiations fail. While the lifting of international sanctions is commonly considered to be the main economic incentive for Iran to agree to a deal, we should be aware that many U.S. sanctions will remain against key hardline actors in the Iranian regime for non-nuclear related reasons. In other words, those hardline elements most opposed to the current talks—the spoilers—are also the ones that have the least to gain from their success.

Kurdish peshmerga forces stand by their armed vehicles in Mahmoudiyah, Iraq, a day after they take control of the village from the Islamic State group, as they patrol on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014.

(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Bad Move, ISIS: Why America and Iran Should Work Together

| Oct. 06, 2014

"While a threat to U.S. interests, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) presents us with a unique opportunity to 'reset' the Middle East equation—to actively transform regional relations, to abate the cold war between Iran and Saudi Arabia and to forge a new working relationship with Iran," writes Payam Mohseni. "As the United States moves to escalate its war against ISIS and forge a coalition against the terrorist group, it is important that Iran be included in the process. After all, U.S. and Iranian interests have increasingly converged in the Middle East with the emergence of a common enemy, and no power in the region is better suited to taking on ISIS than Iran and its affiliated Shi’a militias in Iraq."

iran negotiating team

US Department of State

Blog Post - Iran Matters

The Iranian elite and the nuclear negotiations: My reflections from Iran

| Aug. 19, 2014

Payam Mohseni, just returned from a long trip to Iran, offers his observations on Iranian attitudes toward nuclear negotiations gleaned from meetings with Iranians from across the political spectrum. He finds a distinct disconnect between Iranian and American perceptions of the relationship between the two countries.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Correcting misunderstandings of the IRGC’s position on nuclear negotiations

| Feb. 18, 2014

Annie Tracy Samuel argues that many Western analysts and news outlets are misstating the position of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on nuclear negotiations. The Guards, she writes, are "cautiously open" to an agreement, despite speculation that they are among the main agitators against the negotiations.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Revolutionary Guard is cautiously open to nuclear deal

| Dec. 20, 2013

Based on their public statements, we can ascertain that the leaders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. (IRGC) have mixed feelings about the interim nuclear agreement concluded in Geneva on November 24 between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany). On one hand, the Guards have given conditional approval to the deal and the negotiating processes. On the other hand, they have warned the negotiating parties that they will continue to monitor the diplomatic developments, that Iran’s sovereign rights must be respected, and that the United States has not proven itself to be trustworthy.