Nuclear Issues

62 Items

Monument for victims of Chernobyl in front of covef

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Thirty-three Years Since the Catastrophe at Chernobyl: A Universal Lesson for the Global Nuclear Power Industry

| Apr. 25, 2019

The world will soberly commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophic accident on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Some may wonder why bother with a gone-by historical event that happened in a distant land — a country that no longer exists — the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine).  On the contrary, Chernobyl and its legacy, with its specters of lingering human toll, radiation contamination, and the massive new shelter ("New Safe Confinement") installed over the old sarcophagus encasing the reactor, will be with us for a long time.

Palgrave Pivot

Palgrave Pivot

Book Chapter - Palgrave Pivot

A History of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540

| 2018

This chapter seeks to provide an original account of the origins and purpose of resolution 1540. The account builds on the author’s experience, first-hand accounts, and interviews with former government officials, including Stephen Hadley, John Bolton, and Robert Joseph. It seeks to generate insights into the intended purpose of the resolution, its drafting, the diplomacy surrounding its passage, and the effects that this had on the text which was adopted by the Security Council. In doing so, the chapter also seeks to situate the resolution amongst other non-proliferation and counter-WMD-terrorism tools and initiatives.

Palgrave Pivot

Palgrave Pivot

Book - Palgrave Pivot

Preventing the Proliferation of WMDs: Measuring the Success of UN Security Council Resolution 1540

| 2018

This edited volume provides a fresh analysis for researcher and practitioners regarding United Nations Security Council resolution 1540, the status of its implementation, and its future by providing an original evaluation of progress in implementation and challenges faced during the resolution’s first decade. In doing so, the book will consider the resolution’s utility as a non-proliferation tool with a view to identifying what further actions are required for the objectives and goals embodied by UNSCR 1540 to be achieved and sustained.  The book progresses by exploring the history of the resolution, implementation trends, implementation from a regional perspective, challenges, and future ways forward. The book appeals to a wide readership of scholars, policymakers, and other stakeholders of the 1540 process.

Palgrave Pivot

Palgrave Pivot

Book Chapter - Palgrave Pivot

UNSCR 1540 Implementation: Challenges Past and Present

| 2018

This chapter seeks to set out the principal challenges in the implementation of resolution 1540. Using evidence from the resolutions, meeting records, Committee Chair’s briefings, and secondary sources, it argues that the challenges to implementation of the resolution have reflected both broader conceptual issues, and, more recently, practical implementation issues. The chapter begins by considering ‘broader challenges’ to the resolution’s implementation, notably those relating to political will. The second section considers challenges that are more practical in nature. The chapter will conclude with a final section looking at some opportunities that may help to overcome these challenges.

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Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

Iran Nuclear Deal: How to Ensure Compliance?

| February 3, 2016

In this op-ed for The Conversation, Kalman Robertson writes that Iran agreed never to develop nuclear weapons when it signed the NPT in 1968. There's no ironclad method to prevent Iran from breaking its promise and developing nuclear weapons, but this new agreement builds in a number of strong protections. In conjunction with U.S. and allied intelligence capabilities, these rules mean even a sophisticated and carefully executed secret plan would carry a high risk of detection.

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Just How Vulnerable Is Iran to Sanctions?

| August 3, 2015

"Although this phased-approach to sanctions relief under the JCPOA ensures that Iran does not receive benefits without first implementing its nuclear commitments, uncertainties remain. The agreement does not affect U.S. and EU non-nuclear sanctions, such as those that target human rights abuses, support for terrorism, and money laundering. One question is whether or not relief from nuclear-related sanctions will affect the usefulness of non-nuclear sanctions."

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 - The National Interest

How Iran Became the Middle East's Moderate Force

| March 20, 2015

"There is only one country in the Middle East that is truly in alliance with the United States in its fight against the ISIS and that is Iran. The military presence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) elite forces in defense of the territorial integrity and political stability of Iraq has already expanded from the Kurdish city of Erbil to the multiethnic capital city of Baghdad."

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Big Banks and Their Game of Risk

| January 21, 2015

"For US regulators, 2014 was a banner year for collecting fines against sanctions violators, according to The Economist. In June, BNP Paribas—France’s largest bank, and one of the largest in the world—agreed to shell out $9 billion to the US Department of Justice for violating sanctions against Cuba, Iran, and Sudan. This past month, US regulators slapped Germany’s Commerzbank—the country’s second-largest bank, with a similar global presence—with a $1 billion fine, after launching an investigation into its dealings with sanctioned countries. The increases in fines have signaled an aggressive, zero-tolerance policy toward violators, as well as a willingness to use the extraterritorial provisions of sanctions, which allow regulators to punish foreign-based banks..."