January 19, 2016
The Iran nuclear deal was officially implemented on Saturday, as Iran successfully fulfilled its initial key nuclear commitments and the international community relieved major sanctions, including unfreezing about $100 billion of Iranian money. Implementation Day was met with applause from deal supporters in the U.S. and Iran, while critics have raised questions about whether Iran will adhere to its requirements and how it will flex its newfound economic power. Also in recent days, the U.S. and Iran agreed to a prisoner swap that led to the freedom of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and others, and negotiated the release of American sailors detained in Iran. What does the arrival of Implementation Day mean for Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear nonproliferation, and how does it bode for the future of U.S.-Iran relations? We asked Belfer Center experts to weigh in on these and related questions.
January 7, 2016
Op-Ed, The World Post
By Jieun Baek, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
North Korea claims to have successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb. While analysts and scientists test the validity of its claim, what we know for sure is this is North Korea's fourth nuclear test -- the third during President Obama's administration. After North Korea hacked Sony upon releasing the movie "The Interview" in Dec. 2014, Obama pledged to "respond proportionately."
January 7, 2016
Two analysts from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, Matthew Bunn, co-principal investigator of the Project on Managing the Atom, and Gary Samore, the center’s executive director for research, spoke with the Harvard Gazette about North Korea’s nuclear program and what the latest test means for relations between the government of leader Kim Jong-un and other nations, and how the blast may affect global efforts to limit nuclear weapons.
January 7, 2016
North Korea’s report that it tested a hydrogen bomb this week set off alarm bells around the world. Though analysts are casting doubt on the nature of the detonation, Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test is a reminder of the regime's unpredictability. How serious is this action and how should foreign powers respond? Belfer Center experts Graham Allison, Jieun Baek, Matthew Bunn, Nicholas Burns, Olli Heinonen, John Park, Gary Samore, and William Tobey weigh in on the significance and implications of North Korea’s latest nuclear test.
December 29, 2015
Op-Ed, The Washington Post
By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
One of the arguments for the Iran nuclear deal was that it would encourage greater openness and investment from the West. But Iranian hard-liners have been working in recent months to sabotage the proponents of economic globalization and change.
December 22, 2015
By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
This chapter assesses the Chinese position on the global nuclear disarmament and discusses the evolution of China's nuclear weapons strategy. Specifically focused on China's perspectives on the move toward nuclear disarmament and interim steps each side could take, and China's concerns that give rise to preconditions or conditions for deep cuts and/or abolition of nuclear weapons. Also examined is, why China's consistently maintained policies of no-first-use and minimum deterrence, the characteristics of China's nuclear strategy, and whether China would maintain its current nuclear strategy under a changing strategic dynamic in the future. Finally, it discusses the requirements of strategic stability between US and China, and the regional security dilemma.
December 18, 2015
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Olli Heinonen led a seminar at the Argonne National Laboratory on the International Atomic Engergy Agency (IAEA) nuclear safeguards on December 18th as part of the Physics Division Colloquium Series.
Journal Article, International Studies Quarterly
By Mark Bell, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
This article examines whether the quantitative literature on the causes of nuclear proliferation successfully identifies variables that explain existing patterns of proliferation or improve our ability to predict proliferation.
December 17, 2015
Op-Ed, The Hill
By Aaron Arnold, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"At a press conference in Vienna this week, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, delivered the agency’s final assessment on Iran’s nuclear program. The result of a 12-year investigation, the report concludes that Iran undertook a range of activities prior to the end of 2003 relevant to the development of nuclear weapons and some activities after 2003. The agency also concludes that there are no “credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a Nuclear explosive device after 2009.” This is hardly unexpected news, especially considering the U.S. intelligence community came to the same conclusion in its 2010 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. Probably more important than the findings, however, is that the conclusion of the IAEA’s investigation is an important first step to Iran re-establishing financial relations with the rest of the world..."
December 17, 2015
Op-Ed, Nuclear Security Matters
By Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"Congress has released its Omnibus appropriation bill for funding the entire government, including National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear non-proliferation and security programs. The following is a snapshot of the fiscal year 2016 request and Congressional appropriation process, as well as charts providing some context about what these numbers mean. This non-proliferation budget is the last that will be fully executed by the Obama administration..."