Reports & Papers

22 Items

A Tajik conscript looks out over remote stretches of northern Afghanistan from a border outpost near Khorog, Tajikistan.

Photo by David Trilling (c)

Report - Russia Matters

Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?

| Fall 2018

Thousands of radicals from formerly Soviet Central Asia have traveled to fight alongside IS in Syria and Iraq; hundreds more are in Afghanistan. Not counting the fighting in those three war-torn countries, nationals of Central Asia have been responsible for nearly 100 deaths in terrorist attacks outside their home region in the past five years. But many important aspects of the phenomenon need more in-depth study.

This research paper attempts to answer four basic sets of questions: (1) Is Central Asia becoming a new source of violent extremism that transcends borders, and possibly continents? (2) If so, why? What causes nationals of Central Asia to take up arms and participate in political violence? (3) As IS has been all but defeated in Iraq and Syria, what will Central Asian extremists who have thrown in their lot with the terrorist group do next? And (4) do jihadists from Central Asia aspire to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction? If so, how significant a threat do they pose and who would be its likeliest targets?

    Report

    The 2016 Iranian Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Domestic Politics under the JCPOA

    | Dec. 10, 2016

    Coming at a crucial juncture following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1, Iran’s 10th parliamentary elections are significant for several reasons. The elections determine the makeup of the legislative branch for the next four years—four crucial years that will impact Rouhani’s ability to implement his domestic policies and his likelihood to win re-election in 2017. Significantly, these elections are the first Iran experienced since the signing of the JCPOA agreement and as such reflect the early impact of the nuclear agreement on domestic political change inside Iran.

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    Report - World Bank

    Constructing Robust Poverty Trends in the Islamic Republic of Iran (2008-2014)

    | Sep. 27, 2016

    This paper constructs and tests the robustness of consistently measured poverty trends in the Islamic Republic of Iran after 2008, using international poverty lines based on U.S. dollars at 2011 purchasing power parity. The constructed estimates reveal three distinct periods of welfare in the Islamic Republic of Iran: increase in poverty and inequality between 2008 and 2009, decline in poverty and inequality between 2009 and 2012, and gradual deterioration of both indicators again after 2012. The results are robust regardless of the choice of welfare aggregate, inclusion or exclusion of different components, and spatial adjustment accounting for regional variation in food and housing prices.

    Representatives of participating companies sign containers with uranium to be used as fuel for nuclear reactors, prior to loading them aboard Atlantic Navigator ship, in St. Petersburg, Russia, November 14, 2013.

    AP

    Report - National Academies Press

    Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors

    | January 28, 2016

    Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors is a report of the Committee on the Current Status of and Progress Toward Eliminating Highly Enriched Uranium Use in Fuel for Civilian Research and Test Reactors. The committee was established by the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, Division on Earth and Life Studies and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report is the result of a congressionally mandated study (P.L. 112-239, Section 31781) to assess improvement in reducing highly enriched uranium use in fuel for civilian research and test reactors.

     

    Belfer Center Senior Fellow William Tobey is a member of the Committee that produced the report.

    Report

    Tipping the Balance?

    | December 2015

    Standing before the United States Congress early in March 2015, in the face of a looming deadline in the Iran and P5+1 talks over the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu portrayed the negotiations in stark terms. Drawing a direct parallel between biblical plots to persecute Jews in pre-Islamic Persia and modern Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu framed Iran as nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Anything short of a practical dismantling of Iranian nuclear infrastructure would be unacceptable. Largely perceived as an attempt to undermine President Barack Obama’s efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with Iran, Netanyahu’s actions thus proved quite contentious inside the United States.

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

    Disrupting the Chessboard

    | October 2015

    Various narratives explaining Russia’s recent decision haveemerged which portray Russia alternatively as attempting tore-establish its role as a world empire or as a power-balancerprotecting its interests in the Middle East. This publicationaims to present different scholarly perspectives and viewpointson Russian objectives in Syria and the implications it holds forworld politics. It does so by gathering the opinions of severalexperts with different backgrounds and analytic viewpointsfrom across the world.

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

    Iran and the Arab World after the Nuclear Deal

    | Aug. 13, 2015

    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 presents significant implications for the future order of the Middle East. Just how it will impact that order remains uncertain. Will it shift Iranian foreign policy toward greater cooperation and reconciliation or produce greater Iranian regional empowerment and aggressiveness?

    This report helps answer these and related questions. It includes views from leading experts in the Arab world to assess the impact of the nuclear agreement on Iran-Arab security relations.

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

    The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide

    | Aug. 03, 2015

    The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide has been produced in the interest of contributing to informed Congressional review and public discourse on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It provides a concise description of the agreement and the accompanying UN Security Council Resolution 2231. It also includes a balanced assessment of the agreement's strengths and weaknesses with respect to its central objective to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

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

    Sanctions Against Iran: A Guide to Targets, Terms, and Timetables

    | June 2015

    To assist Members of Congress and observers in analyzing these issues and judging a potential comprehensive agreement, the Belfer Center prepared this brief to outline the key facets of sanctions against Iran. Written as an addendum to our April policy brief, ‘Decoding the Iran Nuclear Deal,’ this report is driven by the policy debate’s leading questions.

    Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Mar. 2015.

    AP

    Report

    Inspections in Iran: What Would Inspectors Need? What Are the Lessons Learned from Iraq?

    | June 3, 2015

    As nuclear negotiations with Iran near their final stage, the question of inspections has come to the fore. If a final agreement is reached, inspections will be a principal means of assuring that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, either by “breakout” at declared facilities, or by “sneakout” using secret sites. Given the importance being placed on inspections, what type will be necessary?  What inspection and verification regime will be needed to facilitate compliance, detect violations, and ensure effective enforcement?