Shahram Chubin

Nonresident Senior Associate
Nuclear Policy Program
Chubin, who is based in Geneva, focuses his research on nonproliferation, terrorism, and Middle East security issues. He was director of studies at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland, from 1996 to 2009.


PhD, Columbia University
BA, Oberlin College


English; Farsi; French


Shahram Chubin is a nonresident senior associate in the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program. Based in Geneva, Chubin’s research focuses on nonproliferation, terrorism, and Middle East security issues.

Chubin was director of studies at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland, from 1996 to 2009. A specialist in the security problems of the Middle East, he has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense, the RAND Corporation, and the United Nations. He has been director of regional security studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and a fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Chubin has taught at various universities including the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has lectured at Oxford, Harvard, and Columbia universities as well as at military staff colleges. He has published widely in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, Washington Quarterly, Survival, Daedalus, the Middle East Journal, the World Today, and the Adelphi Paper series.

A Swiss national, Chubin was born in Iran and educated in Britain and the United States.

  • Op-Ed Survival April 1, 2014
    Is Iran a Military Threat?

    Tehran’s military capabilities do not match its ambitions for recognition and status. It is cautious, defensive, and prudent in resorting to force, due as much to experience as to realism about its own limits.

  • Op-Ed International Institute for Strategic Studies February 12, 2014
    Iran’s Military Pragmatism

    Even if the interim deal with Iran is successfully extended into a comprehensive agreement during the next twelve months, Tehran’s conduct in the Middle East will remain largely unregulated.

  • uranium conversion Iran
    Proliferation Papers No. 45 February 11, 2013
    Command and Control in a Nuclear-Armed Iran

    With the international spotlight focused on Iran and its nuclear agenda, Tehran has been loath to reliably assure the international community of its ultimate intentions.

  • Op-Ed Gulf Research Center September 27, 2012
    Iran and the Arab Spring: Ascendancy Frustrated

    Since the start of the Arab Awakening, Tehran has confronted a less tractable regional environment, with allies weakened and adversaries emboldened.

  • Op-Ed Le Temps June 15, 2012 Français
    Iran and the P5+1 in Moscow: Time is Running Out (Again)

    Nearly ten years after the question of Iran’s nuclear ambitions became an international issue, little progress has been made in settling it.

  • A Grand Bargain with Iran
    Op-Ed Foreign Affairs March 23, 2011
    A Grand Bargain with Iran

    The aim of U.S. diplomacy should be to reconcile Iran's nuclear ambitions with international concerns about proliferation and to address the broader issues raised by Iran's regional behavior.

  • The Revolution in Cairo is a Serious Warning for t
    Op-Ed Le Temps February 21, 2011 Français
    The Revolution in Cairo is a Serious Warning for the Mullahs

    As Egypt begins its efforts to create a more democratic and inclusive government, Iran seems to be moving in the opposite direct.

  • Egypt and Iran: Similarities and Contrasts
    Op-Ed Le Temps February 18, 2011 Français
    Egypt and Iran: Similarities and Contrasts

    In both Egypt and Iran, youth are at the forefront of the struggle for change as both governments must struggle to generate jobs for their growing populations and diminish the growing gap between the rich and the poor.

  • Nuclear Enrichment Impasse Looms Again
    Op-Ed PBS Frontline December 4, 2010
    Nuclear Enrichment Impasse Looms Again

    The latest round of negotiations between Iran and its critics faces the same significant obstacles and political constraints as previous diplomatic efforts.

  • The Bleak Prospects for Negotiations Between Iran,
    Op-Ed Le Temps December 3, 2010 Français
    The Bleak Prospects for Negotiations Between Iran, the EU and the P5+1

    By focusing the new round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 on swapping nuclear materials in order to reduce Iran’s fissile stockpile, negotiators are engaging in stalling tactics rather than creating the foundation for a long-term solution.

  • Washington September 5, 2006
    Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

    The central problem with Iran is not its nuclear technology but rather Iran’s behavior as a revolutionary state with ambitions that collide with the interests of its neighbors and the West.

  • April 9, 2013 Washington, DC, Ronald Reagan Building International Trade Center, Amphitheater
    Arab Spring and Middle East WMDFZ

    In the midst of civil war in Syria, uncertainty in Lebanon and Jordan, political instability in Egypt, Iranian noncompliance with IAEA and UN Security Council requirements for transparency and confidence building, and paralysis in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, what is the value of focusing on a WMD-free zone?

  • February 6, 2012 Brussels
    Negotiating with Iran: Obstacles and Outcomes

    As global tensions over Iran’s nuclear program escalate, Tehran and the West have reached a standoff. To revive negotiations, a clear understanding of the key factors influencing Iran’s stance is paramount.

  • April 28, 2010 Brussels
    The Global Nuclear Order—Build or Break?

    The Obama administration recently concluded a two-day Nuclear Security Summit, which saw world leaders endorse the U.S.-led initiative to secure all nuclear weapons from terrorists’ grasp in the next four years. A number of pressing and controversial issues still remain on the global nuclear agenda, however.

  • Iranian Election
    June 30, 2009 Brussels
    Iran’s New Politics: What Next?

    Shahram Chubin and Christoph Bertram presented an in-depth analysis on the aftermath of the Iranian election, and what it meant and will continue to mean for the world.

  • Tank
    June 29, 2009 Paris
    Iraq and the Gulf: Towards Collective Security?

    Post-war Iraq has a role to play as a regional leader in the Gulf. This discussion aims to identify the research and policy opportunities to place Iraq higher on the European Agenga.

  • Shahram Chubin
    September 18, 2006 Washington, D.C.
    Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006


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