Nuclear Issue

  • 2020-08-20

    The Abadeh site, which Iran razed in July 2019, is the Amad Plan’s Marivan site, an important test site responsible for conducting large-scale high explosive tests for developing nuclear weapons. This report provides an introduction to the Marivan location and its activities based on information in the Nuclear Archive, a significant portion of which was seized by Israel in 2018 and shared widely. A Farsi-language slide set from the archive obtained recently by the Institute, containing ground photos of a large-scale test, enabled the Institute to independently evaluate, geo-locate, and, in light of other Archive reporting, ultimately confirm the Abadeh site as Marivan.

  • 2020-08-20

    A diplomatic standoff over restoring international sanctions against Iran may be the most vivid example yet of how the United States has largely isolated itself from the world order — instead of isolating Tehran, as the Trump administration intended.At nearly every step President Trump has taken in his dogged pursuit to demolish a 2015 accord limiting Iran’s nuclear program, he has run into opposition, including from America’s strongest allies in Europe.

  • 2020-08-15

    Undeterred by its humiliating failure to win U.N. Security Council extension of the arms embargo on Iran, the Trump administration has vowed to double down by pushing an equally unpopular snapback of pre-2016 U.N. sanctions. In the August 14 tally on the arms embargo extension, the U.S. gathered only one vote besides its own. And the Dominican Republic may have lent its support only to act as a polite host for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s August 16 visit to the Caribbean nation. Almost every other Security Council member, 11 in all, including western allies of the U.S., abstained, while China and Russia voted no. 

  • 2020-08-11

    Biden’s foreign policy team appears united in calling for a return to the JCPOA, although several advisors have talked of the need for a broader follow-on agreement that includes ballistic missiles and ending regional conflicts, among other things. It is noteworthy that even if Biden wins, he will only have a short window to deal with Iran while President Hassan Rouhani remains in office, as the next Iranian presidential elections are in mid-2021. US sanctions and the Rouhani government’s poor economic record have already cost Iranian moderates control over parliament and the next president is likely to be a hardliner. Given that hardliners in Iran have long expressed their opposition to the JCPOA, Biden cannot gamble on a favorable outcome in Iran’s presidential elections. If he wants to revive the agreement upon assuming office, he needs to act quickly.

  • 2020-07-23

    Even compared to the party's own platform in 2016, the new draft marks a shift in attitudes toward Iran. Democratic Party platform maintains that "Democrats believe the United States should not impose regime change on other countries and reject that as the goal of U.S. policy toward Iran”. […] The final draft of the Democratic Party platform also calls for returning to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and subsequently the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran and called for a new agreement that would also constrain Iran's ballistic missile program, its military ambitions in the Middle East, its violation of human rights as well as its controversial nuclear program.

  • 2020-07-15

    Sabotage attacks can at best delay—but not halt—Iran’s nuclear program. Worse, they could tip the political balance in favor of going for broke. The US intelligence community judges that whether or not Iran acquires a nuclear weapon is a matter of political will. If anything, it would seem Iran’s will is growing. Natanz is a declared site that is subject to frequent IAEA inspections. The destruction of the advanced centrifuge assembly workshop may tarnish Iran’s trust for inspections and push it to harden its sensitive sites or advance its nuclear program covertly. Acts of sabotage jeopardize transparency—and the prospect of keeping the nuclear deal alive and improving upon it in any future nuclear agreement. Seeking short-term tactical gains that undermine trust and hinder the long-term strategic goal of containing Iran’s nuclear program is dangerous and shortsighted.  Diplomacy is the best sustainable and effective means of reaching a solution.

  • 2020-07-14

    I firmly believe that the JCPOA has become a key component of the global non-proliferation architecture, which is why I continue to call for all parties to remain committed to its full implementation. Iran, for its part, must return to full compliance with its nuclear obligations; but it also needs to be able to reap the economic benefits envisioned in the agreement. Having already established measures to protect our companies against extraterritorial US sanctions, we in Europe can do more to satisfy Iranian expectations for legitimate trade. 

  • 2020-07-14

    China’s Ambassador to Iran Chang Hua described the JCPOA as “an important positive factor in maintaining regional and global peace and stability” and urged the international community to oppose US unilateralism and its attempts to extend or reinstate sanctions against Iran.

  • 2020-07-11

    The Iranian parliament has prepared a plan to stop the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the NPT in Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tasnim reported on Saturday. “This plan has been prepared in the format of urgency based on which voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol will be stopped and the government is obliged to observe it,” said Abbas Moghtadaei, the deputy chairman of the Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee. Moghtadaei said that the plan has been drawn up in response to the United States and Europe’s excessive demands. Iran’s parliament issued a statement in June strongly condemning an anti-Iran resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, asking the government to stop implementing the Additional Protocol, which allows surprise inspections of nuclear sites.

  • 2020-07-09

    If the event was associated with a natural gas line explosion, then the possibilities for causation have expanded from our earlier analysis to include: Purely accidental; An explosive device was planted that triggered an explosion and fire; or Some cyber-based attack could have led to a leak that later ignited.

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