Changing Iran’s Nuclear Interests

Policy Outlook
In order to influence positive change in Iran, the United States must first recognize that U.S. policy toward Iran over the past twenty-six years has not worked; unilateral sanctions, denouncements, and other forms of coercion are insufficient; and the U.S. needs the cooperation of at least Europe and Russia to affect Iranian behavior.
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Nothing about Iran is easy. Everything about it is complicated. This essay begins with assessments of whether Iran intends to build nuclear weapons and whether its technological activities prove or disprove its intentions. Under current international rules, some activities that may lead to nuclear weapon capabilities are allowed as long as there is no evidence that a state intends to build nuclear weapons.

Click on link above for the full text of this Policy Outlook.

About the Author
George Perkovich is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and co-author of Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security(Carnegie Endowment, 2005), and author of India’s Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation (University of California Press, 2001).

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About the Nuclear Policy Program

The Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program is an internationally acclaimed source of expertise and policy thinking on nuclear industry, nonproliferation, security, and disarmament. Its multinational staff stays at the forefront of nuclear policy issues in the United States, Russia, China, Northeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East.


About the South Asia Program

The Carnegie South Asia Program informs policy debates relating to the region’s security, economy, and political development. From the war in Afghanistan to Pakistan’s internal dynamics to U.S. engagement with India, the Program’s renowned team of experts offer in-depth analysis derived from their unique access to the people and places defining South Asia’s most critical challenges.


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