Nuclear Issues

317 Items

A traditional Iranian bazaar in the city of Kashan

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Can Iran Weather the Trump Storm?

| May 03, 2019

In the past 10 years, oil exports have averaged about $67 billion in Iran. Last year, they dropped by two-thirds, and they are expected to drop below $30 billion this year.  There are reasons to believe that, with appropriate policies, the country can live with this level of oil exports, albeit at a reduced standard of living, and even do itself some good in the long run by reducing its dependence on oil.

Iran has been there before. In 2012, when President Obama ratcheted up U.S. sanctions against Iran, oil exports dropped by 27.5 percent, and GDP fell by 6.2 percent. In 2015, sanctions and the collapse of oil prices further reduced oil exports to $32 billion, a decade-long low, and GDP declined by 1.6 percent. If Iran’s leadership is to successfully resist U.S. demands, it must do more than find ways to evade sanctions. A lot depends on its ability to adopt a plan that reduces the economy’s dependence on oil, while distributing the burden of restructuring equitably across social groups.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions

The Unimportance Of New Oil Sanctions

| Apr. 25, 2019

For the Islamic Republic, resistance to Washington has become a cultural norm, and it considers independence (esteghlal) as the main achievement of the 1979 revolution.  According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iran would have to meet 12 conditions before the United States will renegotiate the nuclear deal and consider removing its sanctions. These conditions, which are nothing short of surrender on Iran’s part, are either set to force Iran out of the nuclear deal and therefore trigger the return of UN sanctions, or they are a thinly veiled call for regime change.

Tehran Bazaar

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - Brookings Institution

Iran’s economic reforms in retreat

| Dec. 04, 2018

If the intended aim of the new round of U.S. sanctions were to change Iran’s behavior, it already has. Just not the behavior the Trump team had in mind—Iran abandoning its pursuit of pro-market economic reforms. President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected twice, in 2013 and 2017, on a platform of liberal economic reforms, has piece by piece put aside his reform agenda. Because of the economic havoc wreaked by the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, he finds himself in the odd position of overseeing price controls, punishing commodity hoarders, subsidizing imports of a variety of goods, including mobile phones, and has lost the most liberal members of his economic team

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Analysis & Opinions - EastWest Institute

Podcast: A Changing U.S. Foreign Policy

Mar. 28, 2018

Staffing gaps and significant personnel changes at the State Department have raised concerns about the direction of U.S. foreign policy, especially amid public statements by President Donald Trump concerning American alliances and positions on issues around the world. Ambassador Cameron Munter invites Ambassador Nicholas Burns to share his insights and ideas, including on timely topics such as the U.S.-Russia relationship following the re-election of Vladimir Putin, Transatlantic relations and changing perceptions about the future role of NATO, and a possible meeting between President Trump and his North Korean counterpart on nuclear nonproliferation and security.

Ambassador Burns was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President George W. Bush. Prior to that assignment, he was also U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Currently, Burns is the Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and also director of The Future of Diplomacy Project.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry delivers a speech during the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. September 18, 2017 (Ronald Zak/Associated Press).

Ronald Zak/Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

A Poorly Negotiated Saudi Nuclear Deal Could Damage Future Regional Relationships

| Feb. 05, 2018

As George Orwell once observed, some ideas are so absurd that only the intelligentsia could hold them; ordinary people would not be so foolish. A case in point is a reported proposal to allow the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enrich uranium and reprocess spent reactor fuel—two activities that could bring it within weeks of acquiring nuclear weapons—under a developing civil nuclear cooperation agreement.