The UN Security Council is debating how to restrict Iran's nuclear program. Western states seek a firm statement and the threat of eventual sanctions if Iran does not suspend its uranium enrichment work. But Russia and China oppose sanctions, leading to talk about economic penalties outside the United Nations' authority.
Diplomacy over how to handle Iran's nuclear program is stalled in the UN Security Council because of Russian and Chinese concerns that sanctions may be invoked. There are growing calls to avoid a divisive debate over sanctions and circumvent the UN by using economic levers against Iran.
The threat of a nuclear attack—especially a nuclear detonation—by terrorists has never been greater. The United States and the international community must do more to prevent terrorists from buying, stealing, or building nuclear weapons. This report identifies where efforts have fallen short in securing and eliminating nuclear weapons and weapons-usable nuclear materials, and it offers realistic recommendations to plug these gaps in the U.S. and international response.
Iran, emboldened by the situation in Iraq and soaring oil prices, and animated by a combination of insecurity and assertive nationalism, insists on its right to develop full nuclear fuel cycle capability, including the ability to enrich uranium. Two possible scenarios remain, however, for a negotiated compromise. The first, and unquestionably more attractive for the international community, is a "zero enrichment" option. The second is the "delayed limited enrichment" plan spelt out in this report.
Aaron L. Friedberg interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
Aaron L. Friedberg, an East Asian expert and former deputy national security adviser for Vice President Dick Cheney, says the U.S. program of cracking down on North Korean counterfeiting and other illicit activities is the only way to hope for a breakthrough in the stalled disarmament talks.
Iran's decision to restart uranium enrichment raised the nuclear stakes again this week as conflicting statements from Tehran on its willingness to remain bound by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty raised new questions.
This strategic document outlines the U.S. government's position on weapons of mass destruction: how to deter use of weapons, reducing possession of weapons, protection from weapons, response to weapons.
A military operation against Iran would not be a short-term matter but would set in motion a complex and long-lasting confrontation. It follows that military action should be firmly ruled out and alternative strategies developed.
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