Nuclear Issues

53 Items

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, left, speaks next to Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, during a news conference

AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Policy Brief - Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament; Toda Peace Institute

Nuclear Battleground: Debating the US 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

| June 2018

This Policy Brief compares and contrasts the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review with past reviews and its Obama predecessor. It concludes that this review offers a much harsher assessment of the security environment; it posits a more expansive role for nuclear weapons; and proposes a substantial de-emphasis on arms control.

During a re-enactment in a park in southern Tehran, members of the Iranian Basij paramilitary force re-enact fighting in the 1980–88 war with Iraq.

AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Managing U.S.-Iran Relations: Critical Lessons from the Iran-Iraq War

| November 2017

The best way to address the various challenges associated with Iranian behavior—meaning the one most likely to succeed and to bolster long-term U.S. security interests—is to preserve and build on the nuclear deal. Doing so would enable Iran to reconsider the lessons of the Iran-Iraq War, which taught it that it cannot trust the international organizations and world powers that seek to isolate it and undermine its security.

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

Wikimedia Commons

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

| January 10, 2017

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. The imports are permitted by the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but nonetheless significantly exceed Iran’s needs for natural (that is, unenriched) uranium over the next 15 years. Iran’s import of such high levels of uranium suggests it may be stockpiling uranium to reach nuclear breakout before the deal’s initial limitations expire in 2031.

The JCPOA permits Iran to buy natural uranium to “replenish” its stocks as it sells enriched uranium on the international market. To date, Iran has had difficulties locating a buyer for its enriched uranium stocks – unsurprising, given the current excess of commercially available enriched uranium. This, however, has not stopped Iran from buying and stockpiling more yellowcake.

Iran’s Breakout Time Drops Below Administration Benchmarks

Flickr

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran’s Breakout Time Drops Below Administration Benchmarks

| July 29, 2016

Iran plans to manufacture and install additional advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility in about 10 years, substantially boosting the country’s uranium-enrichment capability, according to a confidential document leaked last week by the Associated Press. According to the plan – which Iran reportedly shared with the IAEA six months ago – Tehran’s breakout time will shrink to a few weeks or less.

Furthermore, days after those revelations, Iranian officials saidthat they are prepared to swiftly reinstall dismantled centrifuges should their counterparts not fulfill their commitments under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, even said that his country could restore its pre-JCPOA enrichment capacity within 45 days.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif shake hands after a news conference at the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin, June 15, 2016.

AP

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

EU-Iran Nuclear Cooperation: The Case for Stronger Safety and Nonproliferation Standards

| June 27, 2016

The constraints imposed on Iran’s activities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) curb Tehran’s nuclear program for eight to 15 years. The key restrictions on the program, however, disappear over time, leaving Tehran with an industrial-size nuclear program with near-zero nuclear breakout time and an easier, advance-centrifuge-powered clandestine “sneak out” time.

Aerial view of a heavy-water production plant in the central Iranian town of Arak.

AP

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

IAEA Takes a Light Touch on Iran’s Heavy Water

| April 28, 2016

The IAEA’s reporting has been insufficiently clear regarding Iranian inventories of nuclear material. Iran is continuously enriching uranium and producing heavy water, and exceeding the JCPOA’s limits threatens to cut its nuclear breakout time. A clear, unambiguous IAEA accounting of Tehran’s nuclear inventories is therefore all the more essential.

Delegates wait for the start of the board of governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, December 15, 2015.

AP

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Next Steps in the Implementation of the JCPOA

| December 8, 2015

When the new report is brought before the IAEA’s Board of Governors on December 15, it should adopt a resolution based on: a credible baseline for monitoring and verification; assurances, with high confidence, that all weapons-related activities have been terminated; and future sampling and investigations carried out in-situ by IAEA inspectors and experts.

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Testimony

U.S. and Russia Share a Vital Interest in Countering Terrorism

| September 30, 2015

Simon Saradzhyan testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee Hearing on "The Threat of Islamist Extremism in Russia," on September 30, 2015. 

In his testimony, Saradzhyan asked: "Can the United States and Russia cooperate against the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other international terrorist organizations, even though the bilateral relationship has deteriorated in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine? My answer is they can and they will if they act in their best interest."

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Testimony

The Implications of Sanctions Relief Under the Iran Agreement

| August 5, 2015

Nicholas Burns testified on August 5, 2015, before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, on "The Implications of Sanctions Relief Under the Iran Agreement."


"Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Brown and members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify on the international agreement to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons power and the implications for sanctions relief.

This is one of the most urgent and important challenges for our country, for our European allies as well as for Israel and our Arab partners in the Middle East.  The United States must thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and its determination to become the dominant military power in the region."