Iran

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    • Proliferation Analysis

    Heavy Metal

    If you do not know the difference between uranium metal and uranium oxide, you never heard of “Green Salt” until today, and you have been more interested in Pittsburgh vs. Seattle than Tehran vs. Vienna, here’s your chance to catch up on the latest developments in the Iranian nuclear showdown. 

    We provide answers (with extensive quotes from the confidential IAEA report) to three key questions:  What did the IAEA report say that was new, what does reporting to the Security Council mean, and what happens next?

    1. What new evidence was in the January 31 IAEA confidential report on Iran?

    Iran has taken some measures to attempt to assure the IAEA that it is in compliance with its safeguards agreement. Yet key issues remain unresolved, including explanation of particles of enriched uranium found on centrifuges, IAEA access to critical sites and scientists, and the interesting document detailing how to turn uranium into a metal.  This later procedure has no role in fuel production; uranium in metal form is only used in nuclear weapons

    The updated brief by the Deputy Director General for Safeguards says:

    “Iran has shown the Agency more than 60 documents said to have been drawings, specifications and supporting documentation handed over by the intermediaries, many of which are dated from the early- to mid-1980’s. Among these was a 15-page document describing the procedures for the reduction of UF6 to metal in small quantities, and the casting of enriched and depleted uranium metal into hemispheres, related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components. It did not, however, include dimensions or other specifications for machined pieces for such components. According to Iran, this document had been provided on the initiative of the network, and not at the request of the AEOI. Iran has declined the Agency’s request to provide the Agency with a copy of the document, but did permit the Agency during its visit in January 2006 to examine the document again and to place it under Agency seal.”

    Much of this language was reported in the November 2005 IAEA Report on outstanding questions on the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities. New to the latest report is a direct reference to a 15-page document and the critical phrase, “…related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components.” (Read More)

    • Testimony

    Options Available to the United States to Counter a Nuclear Iran

    • George Perkovich
    • February 01, 2006
    • Testimony by George Perkovich before the House Armed Services Committee

    • Op-Ed

    It's the Regime, Stupid

    • Op-Ed

    To Tame Tehran

    Ahmadinejad's threat to external security and internal freedoms is bringing forth an opposition coalition that sees more clearly the dangers of confrontation with the West. A nimble U.S. policy, one that plots a strategy beyond the next Security Council vote, can help these forces inside Iran succeed.

    • Event

    Pakistan: The Resurgence of Baluch Nationalism

    Frédéric Grare presented his paper, “Pakistan: The Resurgence of Baluch Nationalism,” (published by the Carnegie Endowment in January 2006) which analyzes the conflict in Baluchistan, a Pakistani province straddling Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan

    • Proliferation Analysis

    Goldschmidt and Perkovich On Iran

    • Jill Marie Parillo
    • January 24, 2006

    In a candid January 18 press conference, Carnegie Vice-President George Perkovich and Visiting Scholar Pierre Goldschmidt discussed the current Iran crisis with reporters. Goldschmidt said he is urging officials to take a generic proactive approach that could solve other potential or actual cases of noncompliance:

    “The UN Security Council should adopt a generic resolution saying that when the IAEA has found a country to be in noncompliance and if the IAEA requests more verification authority, the UN Security Council would immediately, under a Chapter 7 resolution, provide this additional authority.”

    Unfortunately, the “international community” has a tendency “to only react to crisis,” Goldschmidt said, which puts him in an “uncomfortable” position trying to “solve one specific case, which is Iran.” He offered two solutions that, by involving the UN Security Council, would make Iran’s current voluntary commitments legally binding:

    “The minimum for me is to report [Iran] to the Security Council to request Iran to immediately resume the suspension of all enrichment-related activities, and, second, [for the Security Council] to provide the IAEA with a significantly increased verification mandate and authority. Once more, this has nothing to do with sanctions.”

    (Read More)

    • Proliferation Analysis

    No Military Options

    Iran is moving to restart its suspended uranium enrichment program. Negotiations with the European Union have collapsed and the crisis is escalating. Does the United States -- or Israel -- have a military option?

    The same neoconservative pundits who campaigned for the invasion of Iraq are now beating the drums on Iran.  Urging us this week to keep military options open, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol said Iran’s “nuclear program could well be getting close to the point of no return.”  Writing from the same talking points, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “Instead of being years away from the point of no return for an Iranian bomb…Iran is probably just months away.” 

    Do they reflect the thinking of senior officials closely aligned with these political currents?  No official has indicated that they do.  But just one year ago, Vice President Cheney seemed to be thinking along exactly these lines when he told radio host Don Imus on Inauguration Day, "Iran is right at the top of the list." Cheney came close to endorsing military action, noting that "the Israelis might well decide to act first and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards."

    There is no need for military strikes against Iran.  The country is five to ten years away from the ability to enrich uranium for fuel or bombs.  Even that estimate, shared by the Defense Intelligence Agency and experts at IISS, ISIS, and University of Maryland assumes Iran goes full-speed ahead and does not encounter any of the technical problems that typically plague such programs. 

    This is not a nuclear bomb crisis, it is a nuclear regime crisis.  US Ambassador John Bolton has correctly pointed out that this is a key test for the Security Council. If Iran is not stopped the entire nonproliferation regime will be weakened, and with it the UN system.

    But it will have to be diplomats, not F-15s that stop the mullahs.  An air strike against a soft target, such as the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan (which this author visited in 2005) would inflame Muslim anger, rally the Iranian public around an otherwise unpopular government and jeopardize further the US position in Iraq.  Finally, the strike would not, as is often said, delay the Iranian program.  It would almost certainly speed it up.  That is what happened when the Israelis struck at the Iraq program in 1981. (Read More)

    • Event

    Iran: Next Steps for UN Security Council

    Nonproliferation experts Goldschmidt and Perkovich discuss next steps and options for UN Security Council.

    • Op-Ed

    The Security Council Must Curb Iran's Nukes

    • Policy Outlook

    The Urgent Need to Strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

Carnegie Experts on
Iran

  • expert thumbnail - Acton
    James M. Acton
    Jessica T. Mathews Chair
    Co-director
    Nuclear Policy Program
    Acton holds the Jessica T. Mathews Chair and is co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • expert thumbnail - Adebahr
    Cornelius Adebahr
    Nonresident Fellow
    Carnegie Europe
    Adebahr is a nonresident fellow at Carnegie Europe. His research focuses on European foreign policy.
  • expert thumbnail - Baloch
    Bilal Baloch
    Visiting Fellow
    Bilal Baloch is a visiting fellow at Carnegie India where his research focuses on the political economy of government behavior in India and other developing democracies.
  • expert thumbnail - Blanc
    Jarrett Blanc
    Senior Fellow
    Geoeconomics and Strategy Program
    Jarrett Blanc is a senior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • expert thumbnail - Cammack
    Perry Cammack
    Fellow
    Middle East Program
    Perry Cammack is a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on long-term regional trends and their implications for American foreign policy.
  • expert thumbnail - Chubin
    Shahram Chubin
    Nonresident Senior Fellow
    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.
  • expert thumbnail - Hamzawy
    Amr Hamzawy
    Nonresident Senior Fellow
    Middle East Program
    Democracy and Rule of Law Program
    Amr Hamzawy studied political science and developmental studies in Cairo, The Hague, and Berlin.
  • expert thumbnail - Hibbs
    Mark Hibbs
    Senior Fellow
    Nuclear Policy Program
    Hibbs is a Germany-based senior fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program. His areas of expertise are nuclear verification and safeguards, multilateral nuclear trade policy, international nuclear cooperation, and nonproliferation arrangements.
  • expert thumbnail - Levite
    Ariel (Eli) Levite
    Nonresident Senior Fellow
    Nuclear Policy Program
    Levite was the principal deputy director general for policy at the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission from 2002 to 2007.
  • expert thumbnail - Lynch
    Marc Lynch
    Nonresident Senior Fellow
    Middle East Program
    Marc Lynch is a nonresident senior fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program where his work focuses on the politics of the Arab world.
  • expert thumbnail - Muasher
    Marwan Muasher
    Vice President for Studies
    Muasher is vice president for studies at Carnegie, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East.
  • expert thumbnail - Perkovich
    George Perkovich
    Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Chair
    Vice President for Studies
    Perkovich works primarily on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation issues; cyberconflict; and new approaches to international public-private management of strategic technologies.
  • expert thumbnail - Sadjadpour
    Karim Sadjadpour
    Senior Fellow
    Middle East Program
    Karim Sadjadpour is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on Iran and U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East.
  • expert thumbnail - Sokolsky
    Richard Sokolsky
    Nonresident Senior Fellow
    Russia and Eurasia Program
    Richard Sokolsky is a nonresident senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program. His work focuses on U.S. policy toward Russia in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.
  • expert thumbnail - Ülgen
    Sinan Ülgen
    Visiting Scholar
    Carnegie Europe
    Ülgen is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on Turkish foreign policy, nuclear policy, cyberpolicy, and transatlantic relations.
  • expert thumbnail - Volpe
    Tristan Volpe
    Nonresident Fellow
    Nuclear Policy Program
    Tristan Volpe is a nonresident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and assistant professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School.
  • expert thumbnail - Wehrey
    Frederic Wehrey
    Senior Fellow
    Middle East Program
    Wehrey specializes in post-conflict transitions, armed groups, and identity politics, with a focus on Libya, North Africa, and the Gulf.
  • expert thumbnail - Wolfsthal
    Jon Wolfsthal
    Nonresident Scholar
    Nuclear Policy Program
    Jon Wolfsthal is a nonresident scholar with the Nuclear Policy Program.

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