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Category: Nuclear Issues

June 13, 2014

Background on the 'Possible Military Dimensions' of Iran's Nuclear Program

As senior officials from Iran and the P5+1 -- China, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States, plus Germany -- prepare for another round of nuclear talks in Vienna on June 16-20, one major issue that cannot be left unresolved regards the suspected military aspects of Iran's nuclear program. The so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) are

June 1, 2014

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Their Nature and Role in 2030

The longstanding efforts of the international community writ large to exclude weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from international competition and conflict could be undermined in 2030. The proliferation of these weapons is likely to be harder to prevent and thus potentially more prevalent. Nuclear weapons are likely to play a more significant role

May 20, 2014

Political Chasm Deepens Over Nuke Program

Iran’s political elite has become increasingly divided over the course of nuclear negotiations with the world’s six major powers, which began last fall. The current debate appears to fall into three camps: Nuclear Supporters: This faction reportedly includes Revolutionary Guards officials, personnel from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran

Feb. 1, 2014

Leadership Divided? The Domestic Politics of Iran's Nuclear Debate

The implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) between Iran and the P5+1 has raised hopes that the agreement will mark a first step toward a long-term, comprehensive solution to international concerns about Iran's nuclear program. Although Ayatollah Khamenei has publicly endorsed the efforts of President Hassan Rouhani's nuclear negotiating

Dec. 1, 2012

The International Atomic Energy Agency's Decision to Find Iran in Non-Compliance, 2002-2006

On August 14, 2002, at a press conference in Washington, DC, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled Iranian opposition group, drew worldwide attention when it publicly accused Iran of clandestinely developing nuclear weapons. Alireza Jafarzadeh, then-U.S. media spokesperson for the NCRI, described two “top secret” nuclear

Sept. 1, 2012

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992

On the morning of September 28, 1991, then-Colonel Frank Klotz witnessed an historic moment at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. As he and other senior officers from the base bomber and missile units watched, the crews for the B-1 strategic bombers that had been on alert that day climbed into their cockpits, started the planes, and taxied

June 1, 2012

Proliferation Risks of Civilian Nuclear Power Programs

The risks of nuclear proliferation—the further spread of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material, technology, and expertise—derive in part from the technical characteristics of the nuclear fuel cycle and the national and international management of fuel cycle activities. Civilian nuclear power plants themselves are not considered a high

Aug. 3, 2010

Nuclear safety in Iran, post-Fukushima

Although the Fukushima disaster has stalled the ambitions of some developing countries to deploy new power reactors, the Japanese crisis has not seriously affected the expansion of Iran's nuclear energy program. Among the 45 countries that are actively considering plans to build their first power reactors, Iran is farthest along in the process and

April 1, 2010

The Origins of Nunn-Lugar and Cooperative Threat Reduction

In a 1999 interview, Ashton Carter, a key figure in helping to create and implement the threat reduction program initiated by Senators Sam Nunn (D–GA) and Richard Lugar (R–IN), recalled four visits between 1994 and 1996 to an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) base in Pervomaysk, Ukraine. Planted in the soil of this base were the most

Jan. 1, 2010

Avoiding a Crisis of Confidence in the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

The United States needs to modernize and ensure the long-term reliability and responsiveness of its aging nuclear deterrent force and nuclear weapons infrastructure. It cannot otherwise safely reduce its nuclear weapons, responsibly ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, confidently deter and contain challenges from rising or resurgent