Since its inception, the Iranian nuclear and missile programs have received assistance from foreign governments, firms and individuals associated with numerous countries. The assistance—including technological, material and informational—has helped Iran develop indigenous capabilities for its nuclear and missile programs. Iran’s relationships with Pakistan, China, North Korea and Russia warrant particular attention.
Iran’s nuclear program, particularly its advances in uranium enrichment technology, increasingly concerns the U.S. and the international community. In defiance of multiple sanctions programs and in violation of its nuclear nonproliferation treaty obligations, Iran continues to develop and perfect technologies that would allow it to possess a nuclear weapons capability. This section examines the critical issues that Iran’s illicit nuclear program presents: the types and progress of programs; the sources of Iran’s nuclear and weapons technology; critical nuclear facilities; and the development of missile delivery systems.
In this section
The Iranian Foreign Ministry submitted its first report on the nuclear agreement’s implementation to Parliament on April 17. The report’s final section underscores Iran’s recognition that it cannot benefit fully from the JCPOA without addressing structural issues within the Iranian economy.
Rouhani got his deal and avoided a drawn-out fight with parliament over its approval. But his victory relied on help from political rivals—albeit pragmatic competitors—who have campaigned against him and his allies in previous elections.
AEI's Critical Threats Project has translated the Iranian Parliament's report reviewing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei conditionally approved the implementation of the nuclear deal in a letter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani on October 21.
The Iranian parliament approved “The Proportional and Reciprocal Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)” on October 13. CTP has translated the resolution text.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has had to sell the nuclear deal to his people as energetically as President Obama. He and his technocratic assistants have been forced to clarify their interpretation of the agreement in the process, yielding some interesting insights into what the Iranians think they have committed to and gained.
Since the nuclear agreement, Iranian officials have made numerous public statements to clarify the terms of the deal and foster public support.
The Critical Threats Project of the American Enterprise Institute has set up these pages to help clarify the hyper-complex language of sanctions relief and to provide additional information about some of the entities that will be freed of international restrictions.
Many critics of this particular agreement, including me, believe that it would be far preferable to sign a good deal with Iran than to go to war with Iran — but also believe that this is a very bad deal indeed.
The nuclear agreement with Iran announced Tuesday is an astoundingly good deal, far surpassing the hopes of anyone...in Tehran.
A nuclear agreement will inject a large cash windfall into Iran's ailing economy. Iran will unquestionably use some of this influx of revenue to expand its military and cyber capabilities, increasing the threat Iran poses to American interests and allies at home and in the region.
Besides its own state-run military institutions such as Malek Ashtar and Imam Hossein Universities, the Iranian government continues to mobilize the expertise and facilities available in academia for use in the nuclear program via research contracts and sponsorship of student research.
We now have nine months' worth of Iranian rhetoric and behavior as a basis for judging Tehran's intentions and perceptions. Iran's leaders have not budged in any meaningful way on the core issues.
Iran is a belligerent in this regional sectarian war and its regional activities will be shaped to a considerable degree by the approach it adopts to this conflict. We can only reflect on the implications of a possible nuclear weapons deal for the region in this context.
The deal with Iran fails to verifiably eliminate Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons. Or more succinctly, in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s words: “In Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation's will.”
The Geneva agreement represents an effort on the part of the Obama administration to try and manage the Iranian nuclear weapons program rather than insist and seek a verifiable dismantling and end to it.
Senior administration officials have said that the U.S. will not be roped into a bad deal with Iran. The emerging framework for this week’s discussions over Iran’s nuclear program, however, all but guarantees that a bad deal – one that leaves Iran marching towards a robust nuclear weapons capability and the U.S. without any meaningful assurances – is in the offing.
This assessment is the ninth version of a recurring analysis of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran's ability to produce fissile material is no longer the primary bottleneck for its development of a nuclear weapon.
Iran has announced its intention to expand its ability to enrich uranium rapidly by installing advanced centrifuges at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant. If Iran carries through on this declaration it will undermine one of the core assumptions of current U.S. policy aimed at preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest report on Iran’s known nuclear facilities highlights the regime’s progressing and undeterred pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.
The Iranian regime’s refusal to provide the IAEA access to certain nuclear-related facilities and personnel is one element of a broader denial-and-deception campaign intended to obscure its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability.
The threat of Iran’s illicit nuclear program continues to grow as another round of meetings between P5+1 and Iranian negotiators ends today. Iran refuses to dismantle and end that program while it simultaneously expands its enrichment output and future capacity.