22 Items

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.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, Monday, March 2, 2015.

(AP Photo)

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Iran Already Has Nuclear Weapons Capability

| March 3, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington this week to try to sell members of Congress a false dichotomy. In nuclear negotiations with Iran, he will argue that the United States faces a choice between a “good deal” and a “bad deal.” He will urge Congress to stop President Barack Obama from accepting the latter which, he will say, “endangers the existence of the state of Israel.”

Buyer beware. Every serious analyst of this issue — including the prime minister — knows that this is a false dichotomy.

The Coming Clash Over Iran

AP Images

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

The Coming Clash Over Iran

| December 10, 2012

Graham Allison and Shai Feldman write that while the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government were largely on the same page during the Gaza crisis, "much greater turbulence in their relations can be expected by the middle of next year when the issues associated with Iran’s nuclear project will likely reach another crescendo."

A photo of the reactor vessel in the reactor hall before concrete is poured in the covert nuclear reactor built in Syria's eastern desert near Al Kibar, according to a narrated video.

(AP Photo/CIA)

Analysis & Opinions - The Wall Street Journal

Break the Silence on Syria's Nuclear Program

| December 6, 2010

If Israel had not bombed the Al-Kibar reactor site in an air strike in September 2007, it would be producing plutonium by now for Syria's first nuclear bomb," write Belfer Center Director Graham Allison and former IAEA Deputy Director Olli Heinonen. "But this violation of Syria's treaty commitments was not discovered by IAEA inspectors....So it has been convenient for world powers to let Syria slip off the radar and to move on as if these events had not occurred." This silence, the authors argue, must be broken.

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Graham Allison Calls for Citizen Follow-up to "Countdown to Zero"

| August 9, 2010

The Belfer Center is honored to have a number of our scholars and alumni prominently featured in the film Countdown to Zero. It is a testament to our long-standing commitment to providing leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the threat of nuclear terrorism and proliferation. Translating words into deeds, however, will require private citizens to take action. For her work in pushing nations around the world to sign a treaty banning land mines, Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997....Someone asked one of my colleagues here at the Center, what would a nuclear Jody Williams do? Colleagues here have developed a list.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions

Reinforcing the Global Nuclear Order: The Role of the IAEA

| June 13, 2008

The high-level Commission of Eminent Persons advising the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that meeting the current nuclear challenges and seizing the current opportunities will require a fundamentally reinvigorated global nuclear order, featuring a strengthened IAEA with "additional authority, resources, personnel, and technology." Without a "bold agenda" of steps to strengthen the nuclear order, the Commission warned that there were real risks that terrorists might get a nuclear bomb, that a nuclear accident might occur, or that, as the UN High-Level Panel warned, the world could suffer "a cascade of nuclear proliferation." Preventing such events, the Commission emphasized, is essential for nuclear energy to grow enough to contribute to mitigating climate change, making safety, security, and nonproliferation essential foundations for nuclear energy's future.

Analysis & Opinions - International Herald Tribune

For Energy Security, Think Nuclear

| July 14, 2006

Who is the No. 1 producer of energy in the world today? Russia. Who is the No. 1 exporter of energy in the world today? Again, Russia. Who is the No. 1 consumer of energy in the world today? The United States. So it is no accident, as the Russians say, that President Vladimir Putin chose "energy security" as the banner for the G-8 in St. Petersburg this week.