Best Analysis

Nuclear Iran: A Glossary

Olli HeinonenSimon HendersonOlli Heinonen, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Simon Henderson, Baker Fellow at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, set out key information on the Iran nuclear negotiations in this glossary of terms, which defines the crucial technical terms necessary to understand the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran’s Noncompliance with its International Atomic Energy Agency Obligations

WilliamWilliam Tobey, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, speaking in Testimony before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, argued that a key component of any nuclear agreement with Iran will be Iran's compliance with it and its other obligations, and pointed out that Iran has had a history of noncompliance with IAEA regulations on nuclear research and development. He also suggested that the current failure by Iran to clarify the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program constitutes a failure of compliance with the Joint Plan of Action signed between Iran and the P5+1, and that this history of noncompliance casts doubt on Iran's willingness to comply with future obligations in any final agreement.

What’s at Stake in the Iran Negotiations

Payam MohseniDennis RossDavid SangerPayam Mohseni, Director of the Iran Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Dennis Ross, International Council Member, Belfer Center, and David Sanger, Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center, discuss for The New York Times the stakes in the current Iran nuclear negotiations, including the risks of lifting sanctions on Iran, the difficulties in reaching an agreement, and the importance of the current political moment for both Iran and the U.S. in reaching a deal.

How Iran Became the Middle East's Moderate Force

Mansour SalsabiliMansour Salsabili, Associate with the International Security and Managing the Atom Programs at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, writes in The National Interest that Iran has moved away from its original revisionist roots, and its current foreign policy in fact speaks to its moderation as a regional power. He points to several examples in Iranian behavior, including the professional relations between Iranian and U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf, the condemnation of the Charlie Hebdo shootings by Iranian President Rouhani, and support for the campaign against the Taliban in 2001, as demonstrating Iran's more moderate foreign policy, and argues that the continued growth in influence for young, urbanized and generally tolerant Iranians will further impact the country's posture, making a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 a beneficial one for maintaining peace in the region while supporting domestic reform in Iran.

Belfer Iran Brief – Deadline imminent for political framework for nuclear agreement

Nuclear negotiators closed in on the March 31 deadline for a political framework agreement, with both sides reportedly continuing to disagree on several central issues, Iran-backed militias take a back seat in operations in Tikrit and come under attack in Yemen, and more in this week’s Belfer Iran Brief, covering March 17-30, 2015.

Current State of Global Sanctions Against Iran

Aaron ArnoldAaron Arnold provides a crucial update on the status of the economic sanctions placed on Iran. He argues that in the short term, a lack of sanctions relief will continue to damage the Iranian economy and undercut efforts by the Rouhani Administration to revitalize growth. However, he points out that new developments in the global economy, such as the creation of an alternative to the SWIFT financial messaging system pushed by Russia and China, will possibly degrade the effectiveness of sanctions in the long run.

Iran Isn’t Just Nuclear Weapons

Ephraim KamEphraim Kam assess Iran's growing regional influence thanks to the success of proxy forces such as Shiite militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. He argues that even with a nuclear agreement, Iran has strengthened its influence in the Arab world thanks to the lack of a strong Arab balancing force, and that this increased power makes Iranian behavior a continued strategic concern, with or without a nuclear accord.