Reports & Papers

102 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.

View of General Assembly at UN Global Engagement Summit

UN Photo

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

Exponential Innovation and Human Rights

| Feb. 27, 2018

Technological innovation and the politics of global justice are two fields that interact quite extensively in international diplomatic discourse and public debate. Controversial issues, such as accessing essential medicines, reducing greenhouse gases, conserving biological diversity, providing clean energy, and expanding the adoption of green technologies, require answers at the intersection of technological innovation, international diplomacy, and global justice. Our approach is to start off with the broader understanding that justice is rights-based and then proceed to analyze it using a goal-based framework. This brings into sharp focus the relationships between innovation and human rights.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Linking Heterogeneous Climate Policies (Consistent with the Paris Agreement)

| October 2017

The authors of this discussion paper consider linkage among heterogeneous climate-change policies — moving beyond relatively simple linkage among emissions-trading systems — in the context of the emerging Paris-Agreement regime. A Harvard Project event at COP-23 will draw upon this paper.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Science, July 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

Iran Talks

Iran Talks

Report - Institute for Science and International Security

Is Iran Mass Producing Advanced Gas Centrifuge Components?

| May 30, 2017

The head of Iran’s nuclear program says Iran has the capability to initiate mass production of advanced centrifuges on short notice. The mass production of these centrifuges (or their components) would greatly expand Iran’s ability to sneak-out or breakout to nuclear weapons capability or surge the size of its centrifuge program if the deal fails or after key nuclear limitations end. If Salehi’s statement is true, Iran could have already stockpiled many advanced centrifuge components, associated raw materials, and the equipment necessary to operate a large number of advanced centrifuges. The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) need to determine the status of Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing capabilities, including the number of key centrifuge parts Iran has made and the amount of centrifuge equipment it has procured. They need to ensure that Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing is consistent with the intent of the nuclear deal as well as the deal’s specific limitations on advanced centrifuges. Moreover, the Iranian statement illuminates significant weaknesses in the Iran deal that need to be fixed.

Panel: What does Brexit mean for Europe's security architecture?

Thomas Lobenwein

Report

Brave new world? What Trump and Brexit mean for European foreign policy

| Dec. 08, 2016

On 24 and 25 November 2016 experts from politics and academia, including FDP Executive director Cathryn Clüver, discussed the impact of Brexit on several policy areas in a series of workshops at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. All events took place under Chatham House rules.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

On a World Climate Assembly and the Social Cost of Carbon

    Author:
  • Martin L. Weitzman
| November 2016

Martin Weitzman explores theoretically how international cooperation (democratic voting and/or negotiation) to set a global carbon price might incentivize mitigation and yield a global price that approximates an economically-efficient "social cost of carbon."

Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Iran and a New International Framework for Nuclear Energy

| November 2016

As early as the end of the Second World War it was recognized that nuclear fuel cycle technologies developed for military purposes—specifically, uranium enrichment and reprocessing—had major potential for peaceful applications but remained inherently dual-purpose, and if not controlled appropriately, could be diverted to military use. The very first issue considered by the newly founded United Nations was “the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy.”

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Living Mitigation Plans: The Co-Evolution of Mitigation Pledge and Review

| October 25, 2016

The 2015 Paris Agreement completed the transition to pledge-and-review as the core of the multilateral climate policy architecture. With ambitious long-term temperature goals and country-specific emission mitigation pledges set through 2030, the unfinished business coming out of the Paris talks is the design and implementation of the climate transparency mechanism. This paper reviews the poor transparency track record under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and uses this performance to motivate engagement of non-stakeholders to enhance the rigor of the information and analysis of countries' emission mitigation efforts.