IRAN -- NUCLEAR PROGRAM
April 22, 2015
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Aaron Arnold, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"Speaking from the White House earlier this month, President Obama announced details of a framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1—the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany—that limits Iran’s path to building a nuclear weapon over the next 10 to 15 years. Although negotiators will finalize technical details between now and the June 30 deadline, the parameters provide Iran with sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its uranium enrichment, converting its Arak heavy water reactor, limiting the number and type of centrifuges, and agreeing to intrusive inspections. Should Iran cheat or fail to uphold its end of the bargain, however, the United States and its allies reserve the right to “snap-back” into place tough economic and financial sanctions..."
April 16, 2015
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Ariane Tabatabai, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2014–2015; Former Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2013–2014
"The Middle East's only operating nuclear power plant, Bushehr, is located in Iran's south, close to the Persian Gulf. The rest of the eight reactors Tehran has planned will also be built in the area. This means that any safety breach would not only affect Iran's population, but also have cross-border implications."
April 15, 2015
The Future of Diplomacy Project proudly hosted former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright at the Spangler Center in April through the American Secretaries of State Project, jointly directed by Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School's Program On Negotiation. Led by Faculty Directors, Professor Nicholas Burns of the Harvard Kennedy School, Professor James Sebenius of the Harvard Business School, and Professor Robert Mnookin from Harvard Law School, the program seeks to interview former Secretaries of State to gain their insights into how modern diplomacy and negotiation can be used effectively in reponse to "intractable" conflicts.
April 14, 2015
By Ariane Tabatabai, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2014–2015; Former Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2013–2014 and Tong Zhao, Former Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2013–2014
Iran and its P5+1 negotiating partners reached a groundbreaking framework agreement on Tehran's nuclear program in early April. In this podcast, Carnegie's Tong Zhao and Ariane Tabatabai discussed the agreement, follow-up talks on technical details, and China's relations with Iran.
April 14, 2015
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
"Netanyahu's actions are unprecedented in U.S. history. A foreign leader — from a country considered to be a close U.S. ally — has placed himself, frontally, between a U.S. president and a major presidential foreign policy initiative. Not diplomatic reservations, along with discrete behind the scenes efforts to improve the agreement. Not a polite request to amend the agreement, but total public opposition, designed to torpedo the agreement, along with unrealistic demands...."
April 8, 2015
Op-Ed, Just Security
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Based on an initial reading, I believe the framework for a nuclear agreement with Iran is worth trying to develop into a concrete deal, as long as the US-led coalition stays tough on terms, and recognizes that there are no verification measures that can guarantee that Iran won’t cheat. These negotiations are not about creating a legally binding document that replaces Iran’s existing obligations under the Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT), which remain binding. Thus, the details of compliance and measures of verification are notable, but they won’t prove to be decisive in ultimately assessing the merits of the agreement.
April 12, 2015
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"Iran has more latent power potential than any other state in its region, and it might prefer a regional environment in which nuclear weapons did not constrain its ability to throw its weight around. As long as Tehran doesn't have to worry about U.S.-backed regime change, its strategic position might be better off without the bomb. If top leaders in Iran see things this way, then they won't weaponize no matter what the final agreement does or does not permit them to do."
April 11, 2015
Op-Ed, The National Interest
By Dina Esfandiary and Ariane Tabatabai, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2014–2015; Former Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2013–2014
"...U.S. and Iranian strategic interests align on some key issues, including the fight against ISIS and the postcombat mission era in Afghanistan....Today, Tehran is the only actor involved that has enough at stake in Iraq to be willing and able to send in ground troops, should the need arise. In Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia was one of three countries to recognize the Taliban as an official government. But Iran has and continues to want the Taliban out of the picture, as does Washington."
By Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
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.
April 8, 2015
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The consummation of a full, multi-decade agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers, based on last week’s agreed parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, is likely to have monumental consequences — mostly for the better — across the entire Middle East. I base this expectation on one important historical analogy, and on several possible — I believe, likely — developments related to domestic, Gulf-wide, Mideast regional and international dynamics."