128 Items

Trump and Kim at summit

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Grading the Singapore Summit: Compared to What?

| June 15, 2018

In the hyperpolarized state of American politics and policy debate, both critics and supporters of the Trump administration have become so predictable that they are now background noise. If required to summarize my assessment of the Trump-Kim summit in one line, it would be: oversold and undervalued. Despite their best efforts, his critics haven’t come close to matching Trump’s preposterous claim that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Iran Nuclear Deal Implementation Day: A Belfer Center Expert Round-Up

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.

Secretary of State Kerry speaking to Harvard students during Belfer Center event hosted by Director Graham Allison (right).

(Belfer Center Photo/Benn Craig)

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

Belfer Center Conversation with Secretary of State John Kerry

| October 14, 2015

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs hosted Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday, October 13, for a discussion of diplomacy and challenges in key hotspots around the globe.

In a one-on-one discussion with Secretary Kerry, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison asked Kerry about his concerns and plans related to Iran, Syria, Russia, and the Islamic State, among others. The overflow event in the Charles Hotel ballroom included questions from the audience of more than 500 Harvard students and faculty.

Included here is the complete U.S. Department of State transcript from the event. The video is included with the original transcript.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Best Analysis on the Iran Nuclear Deal

| Aug. 15, 2015

Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, highlights important analysis pieces discussing the recent Iran nuclear deal. Specifically, he focuses on pieces by Richard Haass, Sandy Berger, Efraim Halevy, Amos Yadlin, Shai Feldman, and Ariel Levite which analyze the important pros and cons of the nuclear deal, its repercussions for US and Israeli policy in the region, and how the United States should move forward in responding to the Iranian nuclear challenge.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to greet U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, Israel, Tuesday, July 21, 2015.

(AP Photo)

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Iran Deal Keeps Our Military Options Open

| August 5, 2015

In the debate about whether the Iranian nuclear agreement provides Iran a “path to a bomb” or instead provides us a “window to a target,” Americans should listen carefully to the Israeli who knows best.

In his campaign to persuade Congress to reject this deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has focused like a laser beam on the claim that this agreement “paves Iran’s path to a bomb” because its key constraints expire in a decade. In contrast, one of Israel’s most respected national security barons, Amos Yadlin, formerly chief of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate under Netanyahu, has pointed out that when the agreement expires, an American or Israeli military attack will not be more difficult, and indeed could be easier than it is today.

Ministers of  foreign affairs from France, Germany, the EU, Iran, the UK and the US, as well as Chinese and Russian diplomats, met in April to discuss the framework of the Iran nuclear deal.

U.S. Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

4 Myths about the Iran Sanctions

| July 10, 2015

The latest sticking point in nuclear negotiations with Iran has little to do with the issues that have captivated attention in Washington—centrifuges, uranium stockpile and inspections of military sites. Instead, it has focused on the intricacies of sanctions: the Iranian delegation has demanded that a United Nations embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles be lifted. While the United States rejects such a concession, the Russians have reportedly broken ranks and support Iran’s position.

Nietzsche and the Nuclear Era

F. Hartmann

Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

Nietzsche and the Nuclear Era

| July 8, 2015

Diplomats are extending Iran nuclear negotiations into overtime this week, and American lawmakers are preparing for mandatory congressional review. As they decide whether to vote yes or no on a possible deal, they should remember the sage advice of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who observed that the “most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do.” I have a framed version of that quotation in my office and try to think about it every day.

In the case of Iran’s nuclear program, what is the U.S. trying to do? In a sentence: “Stop Iran verifiably and interruptibly short of a nuclear bomb.” No agreement, no airstrike, and no other option anyone has identified can give 100 percent assurance that Iran will not acquire a bomb. The U.S. does not have 100 percent confidence today that Iran has not already built a bomb, or bought a weapon from North Korea (from whom it has certainly purchased missiles). The question members of Congress must answer is whether the deal the U.S. and its P5+1 partners have negotiated is more likely to prevent Iran’s acquiring a bomb for the lifetime of the agreement than any feasible alternative.