The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Abolghasem Bayyenat is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program at the Belfer Center. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Syracuse University. His doctoral dissertation examined the political dynamics of Iran's nuclear policymaking.
Abolghasem's current research is focused on Iran's nuclear decision-making processes and Iranian political elites' national security and foreign policy thinking. He is currently developing his doctoral dissertation into a book manuscript and journal articles. More broadly, his research interests are grounded in scholarly and policy debates on the role of state identity in foreign policy and nuclear policymaking, economic sanctions in nuclear non-proliferation, and Middle Eastern international relations. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, he worked for several years in Iran researching Iran’s foreign trade regime and the multilateral trading system.
His writings on Iran's foreign policy developments can be accessed on his website at www.IranDiplomacyWatch.com.Last Updated: Jul 1, 2021, 2:45pm