33 Items

The nuclear archive warehouse outside Tehran (Satellite image via Google).

Satellite image via Google

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

The Iran Nuclear Archive: Impressions and Implications

In mid-January, a team of scholars from the Belfer Center’s Intelligence and Managing the Atom Projects traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to examine samples of, and receive briefings on, an archive of documents related to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The large cache includes some 55,000 pages of documents and a further 55,000 files on CDs that included photos and videos. A clandestine Israeli intelligence operation spirited the materials out of Iran in early 2018.

The documents that the Belfer group were shown confirm that senior Iranian officials had decided in the late 1990s to actually manufacture nuclear weapons and carry out an underground nuclear test; that Iran’s program to do so made more technical progress than had previously been understood; and that Iran had help from quite a number of foreign scientists, and access to several foreign nuclear weapon designs. The archive also leaves open a wide range of questions, including what plan, if any, Iran has had with respect to nuclear weapons in the nearly 16 years since Iran’s government ordered a halt to most of the program in late 2003. 

This brief report summarizes the group’s conclusions about what the archive reveals about Iran’s program and questions that remain open.

Announcement - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

2016-2017 Harvard Nuclear Policy Fellowships

| December 15, 2015

The Project on Managing the Atom offers fellowships for pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career researchers for one year, with a possibility for renewal, in the stimulating environment of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. The online application for 2016-2017 fellowships opened December 15, 2015, and the application deadline is January 15, 2016. Recommendation letters are due by February 1, 2016.

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

Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal

| April 2015

On April 2, 2015, the E.U. (speaking on behalf of the P5+1 countries) and Iran announced agreement on “key parameters” for a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. The E.U.-Iran Joint Statement is buttressed by unilateral facts sheets issued by the U.S. and Iran, which provide further details of the framework accord. Negotiators now turn to translating this framework accord into a final comprehensive agreement by June 30, 2015. Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as informed citizens, are now focusing on the Iranian challenge and assessing the framework accord. The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School has prepared this Policy Brief summarizing key facts, core concepts, and major arguments for and against the current deal aimed at stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The purpose of this Policy Brief is not to advocate support for or opposition to the tentative deal that has been negotiated, but rather to provide an objective, nonpartisan summary to inform Members and others in coming to their own conclusions. The team of experts who prepared this report includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and internationals, who have many disagreements among themselves but who agree that this Brief presents the essentials objectively.

teaser image

Announcement

Symposium on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy: Fresh Ideas for the Future

Dec. 15, 2014

The ninth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York from April 27-May 22, 2015. This is the fourth such conference since the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995. Participating governments will discuss nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy with a view to arriving at consensus on a number of issues.

Matthew Bunn and William H. Tobey present "The Nuclear Terrorism Threat – And Next Steps to Reduce the Danger"

Shari Nijman

Presentation

The Nuclear Terrorism Threat – And Next Steps to Reduce the Danger

| Oct 7, 2013

Matthew Bunn and Will Tobey spoke with Piet de Klerk, the Dutch Sherpa organizing the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, on October 7 at a United Nations event sponsored by the Dutch mission to the UN. In these slides, Bunn and Tobey provide an updated summary of the threat of nuclear terrorism and recommendations for next steps to reduce the threat, based in part on the new U.S.-Russian report, Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism.

Presentation

Strengthening Global Approaches to Nuclear Security

| July 5, 2013

Despite substantial progress in improving nuclear security in recent years, there is more to be done.  The threats of nuclear theft and terrorism remain very real. This presentation recommends learning from the much stronger national and international efforts in nuclear safety, and in particular, taking steps to build international understanding of the threat; establish effective performance objectives; assure performance; train and certify needed personnel; build security culture and exchange best practices; reduce the number of sites that need to be protected; and strengthen the international framework and continue the dialogue once leaders are no longer meeting regularly at the summit level. Matthew Bunn presented this talk, based on a recent paper, on July 3rd, 2013 at the International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna.

Book Chapter - Congressional Quarterly Press

The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism is Real

| April 1, 2013

This chapter summarizes the case that it is plausible that sophisticated terrorist groups could make a nuclear bomb if they got the nuclear material; that some terrorist groups have actively tried to get nuclear bombs in the past, and some groups are likely to try again in the future; and that unless urgent action is taken to improve nuclear security, it is plausible that terrorists might be able to get the potential nuclear bomb material they would need.

Book - RAND Corporation

Containing Iran: Strategies for Addressing the Iranian Nuclear Challenge

| September 2012

This study assesses current U.S. policy options on the Iranian nuclear question. It suggests that U.S. goals can be met through patient and forward-looking policymaking. Specifically, the United States can begin to lay the groundwork for an effective containment policy while continuing efforts to forestall Iranian weaponization. A successful containment policy will promote long-term positive political change in Iran while avoiding counterproductive provocation.