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Nuclear Weapons

There Are No ‘Good’ Iran Deals, Only Varying Degrees of Risk

The Obama administration should not mislead itself or the public that the framework agreement announced last week is complete or will allay U.S. or allies’ concerns about Iran’s regional or nuclear ambitions. Negotiating with Iran in an effort to slow its nuclear program and avoid war is the least bad alternative. But there are no good deals that will end Iran’s nuclear weapons aspirations, only ones with varying degrees of risk. Some things to keep in mind:

Rouhani’s Bet on the Iran Deal

Like Barack Obama, Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, took a big gamble last week, but his was riskier. In a speech on Friday, Rouhani declared that the proposed nuclear deal with the United States and five other major powers marked the “first step” in reaching “the highest point of constructive interaction” with the world. Iranians should be prepared to embrace other steps, he said. “If we have any sort of tension with any nation, we want to put an end to such tension.”

As Iranians Welcome Nuclear Deal, Khamenei’s Reaction Is Key

The mood in Tehran Thursday night was jovial. Ordinary Iranians celebrated the comprehensive framework regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The accord, which specifies the technical parameters for a final agreement, offers Presidents Barack Obama and Hasan Rouhani winning political narratives to sell their nuclear diplomacy at home in the face of hard-line opposition. Not surprisingly, however, the carping has begun.

Iran: It’s a Deal, Almost

The Iranians broke the news first. “Solutions on key parameters of Iran #nuclear case reached. Drafting to start immediately, to finish by June 30th,” President Hassan Rouhani tweeted, from Tehran. An hour later, Iran and the world’s six major powers announced that eighteen months of intense diplomacy—and a week of all-nighters in Lausanne, Switzerland—had finally produced a blueprint to prevent the Islamic Republic from making a bomb, at least for a decade.

Iran Nuclear Talks: The Day After

What are the consequences of the latest round of U.S.-Iranian nuclear talks? Will politics in Washington, Tehran, Jerusalem, and other players in the region make a comprehensive agreement possible?

Join us BY PHONE as three prominent foreign policy analysts of Iran, Israel, and U.S. policy discuss the negotiations, the region, and the future of U.S.-Iranian relations.

Atomic Aversion and Just War Principles

Atomic Aversion and Just War Principles: New Evidence on US Public Opinion

Scott Sagan, the 2015 recipient of the National Academy of Science’s Estes Award, will speak at the Wilson Center’s Nonproliferation Forum on “Atomic Aversion and Just War Principles: New Evidence on US Public Opinion”

In Iran, a Range of Reactions to Netanyahu’s Speech and Nuclear Talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s  unrelenting condemnation of the nuclear agreement being negotiated with Iran was received with ovations in Congress and by audiences at AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby. In Iran, however, the response has been more varied and more nuanced.

5 Reasons to Think a U.S.-Iran Deal May Be Near

Iranian Foreign Minister  Javad Zarif said Wednesday that U.S. and Iranian negotiators were very close to a deal.

Trying to predict whether the talks will succeed by the March 24 deadline is like reading tea leaves or goat entrails: Unless you are on the inside and in touch with the rhythm of the talks, it’s tough to assess matters accurately. If reports are true that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been hospitalized with a serious illness, that might slow decision-making on the Iranian side.