Nuclear Issues

9 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.

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 - Nuclear Security Matters

Beyond the Summits: The Way Forward for Nuclear Security in the Middle East

| Apr. 11, 2014

With the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) now over, policymakers are thinking about next steps to address nuclear security. The NSS process has progressed since its first installment in 2010; yet, the Middle East, a key region where nuclear security is of tremendous importance, remains underrepresented.

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.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

What’s next for the nuclear negotiations?

| Nov. 26, 2013

The Geneva interim agreement is intended to create political time and space to negotiate a final agreement within six months. However, the P5+1 and Iran remain far apart on the central issue of the negotiations – whether Iran can possess the physical capacity to produce fissile materials for nuclear weapons as part of its “peaceful” nuclear program. Since this issue is so divisive and intractable, a final settlement in six months is unlikely. Instead – in the interests of keeping the process alive and avoiding the consequences of diplomatic stalemate or collapse – the P5+1 and Iran are likely to conclude another interim deal, which extends negotiations for a final agreement and hopefully includes additional nuclear constraints in exchange for additional sanctions relief. This is probably the best outcome that diplomacy can offer.