Nuclear Issues

1788 Items

Missile Launch

Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Sepahnews via AP, File

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How to Make the Iranian Nuclear Deal Durable

| Feb. 28, 2021

Abolghasem Bayyenat and Sayed Hossein Mousavian advise the United States and Iran to aim for reaching a modus vivendi that keeps their political conflict within manageable limits. Otherwise, another round of dangerous mutual escalation in the illusory hope of building leverage and extracting more concessions from each other is inevitable.     

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

Iran Experts on Restoring Iran Nuclear Agreement

Following the recent Biden administration announcement that the U.S. would join European nations in seeking to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, we asked several of our Iran experts for their thoughts on the next steps: What should the U.S. goal be for a renewed Iran deal and what suggestions do you have for getting there? Matthew Bunn, Mahsa Rouhi, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, and William Tobey shared their thoughts.

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. delivers remarks at the State Department

State Department Photo by Freddie Everett

Analysis & Opinions - PRI's The World

Biden's reentry on the foreign policy stage

| Feb. 25, 2021

The first 100 days are key to understanding where any presidency is going. Now more than a third of the way into that timeframe, how is President Joe Biden doing in the international policy arena? The World’s host Marco Werman speaks with Nicholas Burns, a former US under secretary of state for political affairs and a former ambassador to NATO.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department in Washington on February 4, 2021. 

State Department via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

The Iran Deal is Fragile — Here's What the Biden Administration Can Do

| Feb. 23, 2021

Rebuilding the JCPOA will require skillful diplomacy with Iran, the other parties to the deal, and Congress. It may not be possible. If it is possible, however, it cannot be done by ignoring or whitewashing the JCPOA’s flaws. The Biden administration should start with Congress. It should help to establish and offer to work with a congressional observer group, composed of supporters and opponents of the deal, to address their most pressing concerns. It should promise that, after rejoining the JCPOA, the United States will work from the inside to correct the JCPOA’s flaws (and there are provisions within the agreement for doing so). 

Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes join Andrea Mitchell to talk about Biden's next steps on Iran and Russia.

MSNBC

Analysis & Opinions - MSNBC

'Back on center stage globally': Fmr. foreign policy officials on Biden's agenda

| Feb. 19, 2021

Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes join Andrea Mitchell to talk about Biden's next steps on Iran and Russia. Burns says that Biden's "speech today at the Munich Security Conference has put the United States squarely back on center stage globally."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the nation in a televised speech in Tehran on Feb. 10, 2021 (Iranian Presidency Office via AP).

Iranian Presidency Office via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Reviving the Nuclear Deal Gives the U.S. More Leverage Over Iran

| Feb. 15, 2021

While U.S. sanctions have caused Iran’s economy major challenges and limited Iran’s access to financial resources, they have not succeeded in changing Tehran’s behavior regarding its nuclear program. Indeed, Iran has not offered additional concessions. Instead, it has engaged in its own leverage-building strategy by ramping up its nuclear activities, missile program, and regional activities. Iran is not only closer to having the capacity to build a bomb, but even the political discourse of key officials on whether to cross that threshold has been shifting.

The main hall for the IAEA’s Talks on Supplying Nuclear Fuel for Iranian Research Reactor, Vienna, Austria, 19 October 2009. 

Dean Calma/IAEA

Paper

The Deal That Got Away: The 2009 Nuclear Fuel Swap with Iran

| January 2021

With concerns and uncertainties regarding Iran’s nuclear future persisting to this day, this paper seeks to review the TRR negotiations and the context in which they unfolded in order to capture some of the lessons of negotiating with Iran regarding its nuclear program, primarily from the viewpoint of senior U.S. officials involved at the time. The paper is also informed by the personal perspective of one of the authors (Poneman) who led the U.S. delegation in the 2009 Vienna talks, and who, prior to this publication, had not publicly elaborated on his experience. The other author (Nowrouzzadeh), who supported the TRR talks in an analytical capacity within the U.S. Department of Defense, also conducted an extensive interview with Poneman as part of their collaboration on this paper. By drawing on existing literature and recent interviews with several senior U.S. officials involved in the negotiations now that over ten years have passed, the authors seek to draw useful lessons from this episode that can assist policymakers in understanding Iran’s nuclear decision-making and in their continued efforts to shape the future trajectory of Iran’s nuclear program.

In this file photo taken April 3, 2008, the control panel for Hanford nuclear reservation's famous B Reactor is shown in Richland, Wash. The B Reactor, the world's first full-sized reactor, will be part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the nation's newest national park. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Death Dust: The Little-Known Story of U.S. and Soviet Pursuit of Radiological Weapons

    Authors:
  • Samuel Meyer
  • Sarah Bidgood
  • William C. Potter
| Fall 2020

A comparative analysis of the United States’ and the Soviet Union’s previously underexplored radiological weapons programs identifies the drivers behind their rise and demise. The findings of this analysis illuminate the factors likely to affect the pursuit of radiological weapons by other states in the future.