Nuclear Issues (continued)
September 14, 2013
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
"Amidst all of the uncertainty surrounding the details of the Russian proposal and the chances of it actually being implemented, there are, however, two near-certainties. Syria will do everything possible to delay, prevent, circumvent and minimize the actual transfer of its chemical arsenal to international control, let alone dismantlement, and will enjoy significant Russian and Iranian backing in these efforts."
September 9, 2013
By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
The current global—and Congressional—debate about whether to deploy force against Syria for its use of sarin gas on civilians will depend, in part, on whether the reasons for a post-World War I agreement banning the offensive use of chemical and biological weapons continue to be honored.
September 6, 2013
Iran's new president will soon be tested on his ability and willingness to address international concerns about his country's nuclear program.
August 16, 2013
By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"A more encompassing offer could be based on easing the restrictions on Iran's troubled financial sector (inflation has skyrocketed under Western sanctions) and the promise of easing restrictions on the import of gasoline. Such an offer would allow for quick economic improvements while holding out some additional future benefits, such as oil exports, which may be just enough to win Rouhani's support."
August 16, 2013
Last October, at the foot of a rocky hillside near here, at a spot known as Degelen Mountain, several dozen Kazakh, Russian and American nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony. The modest ribbon-cutting marked the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex nuclear security operations since the Cold War — to secure plutonium (enough to build a dozen or more nuclear weapons) that Soviet authorities had buried at the testing site years before and forgotten, leaving it vulnerable to terrorists and rogue states. The effort spanned 17 years, cost $150 million and involved a complex mix of intelligence, science, engineering, politics and sleuthing. This op-ed is based on documents and interviews with Kazakh, Russian and U.S. participants, and reveals the scope of the operation for the first time.
August 15, 2013
By Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School
With a speed few predicted, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has signaled his interest in negotiations this autumn on Iran’s controversial nuclear program," writes Nicholas Burns. "This could produce the first extensive contact between Washington and Tehran since diplomatic relations ruptured during the Jimmy Carter administration."
August 1, 2013
By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
"So Snowden has left the building. The NSA leaker’s departure from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, for an undisclosed location in Russia, on Thursday is turning into a real blessing for the US-Russian relationship," writes Simon Saradzhyan. "It may sound perverse, but both Barack Obama, and, to a lesser extent, Vladimir Putin, have good cause to thank the man whom the US government has fruitlessly asked Russia to extradite and whom the Russian government has just granted temporary asylum."
August 7, 2013
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom
Ayman Khalil asked whether the effort to create a WMD-free zone in the Middle East is dead. Martin's answer is this: The effort will continue, but the opportunity presented by the 2010 Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) may be slipping out of reach.
August 7, 2013
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"It is useful in today’s very turbulent Middle East to separate what can be changed quickly from issues that require a longer time frame -- and to grasp the real relationship between them. So, for example, are terrorism, or Islamic, Jewish or Christian religious fanaticism, causes of insecure states, or consequences of them? Structural issues like terrorism, gender parity, and environmental, economic and demographic stress require many decades to improve. Political conflicts can be resolved more quickly, if political leadership capabilities are available."
August 1, 2013
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
"There can be no question whatsoever that in 2013 Iran could get a bomb; there is also no question that Iran could be bombed,” writes Graham Allison. “But my best judgement is that in 2013 Iran will not get a bomb, and Iran will not be bombed. To be precise, I am prepared to bet $51 of my money against $49 of those who want to bet that by December 31, 2013, Iran will either have a nuclear weapon or have been the target of a major bombing attack."