Three Possible Scenarios for Iran’s Nuclear Talks

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tayebeh Mohammadikia
PhD Candidate of International Relations in Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehra

Iran‘s nuclear negotiations have reached their sensitive stage. Now, the time is ripe to review future prospects of these negotiations more accurately and talk about the final outcome of the nuclear talks with more precision. However, the way ahead is still surrounded by ambiguity and problems. Under the present circumstances, analysts focusing on these negotiations are faced with three main assumptions: inability of the two sides to reach an agreement, achievement of a final agreement, and finally, further extension of the negotiations. Each of these possible scenarios is discussed in more detail below.

1. Achievement of a final agreement

Any analysis of conditions that may surface after “achievement of an agreement” will be a function of the arrangement of powers on the two main sides of the equation; that is, Iran and the United States, as well as the analysis of other forces that have their own influence at international, regional and global levels. Here, possible options available to powerful political forces within domestic political scene of these two countries will be explained first before turning to major influential powers in international arena.

   1.1. Arrangement of powers in Iran and the US if an agreement is not achieved

A nuclear agreement has staunch supporters and proponents both in Iran and the United States. However, the other possibility, that is, inability to reach an agreement, has also its own important and influential proponents. Continue reading


Experts warn of ‘Chernobyl’ risk at Yongbyon nuclear plant

Sebastien Falletti, Seoul – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

26 January 2014


Satellite imagery taken in May 2013 of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre in North Korea. (IHS/DigitalGlobe)

North Korea’s decision to restart its 5 megawatt electric (MWe) reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear scientific research complex threatens Northeast Asia with a disaster potentially worse than Chernobyl, according to nuclear experts.

“This reactor comes from another world. The Yongbyon site has a concentration of so many nuclear facilities that if there was a fire in one building it could lead to a disaster worse than the Ukrainian one,” said Seo Kyun Reul, a professor at the nucleonic department of Seoul National University.

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Satellite images suggest North Korea restarted small nuclear reactor, U.S. institute says

English: Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research ...

English: Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, North Korea – Fuel fabrication facility. Siegfried Hecker examining machining lathes removed from machine shop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Chico Harlan,

SEOUL — Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea has restarted a small nuclear reactor, allowing the secretive nation to potentially bolster its stockpile of plutonium for weapons, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.

The North had said five months ago that it would restart key operations at its Yongbyon nuclear facilitywithout delay.” The report from the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies indicates that it is quietly going ahead with that pledge — and facing few apparent problems in firing up a reactor mothballed for six years.

Commercial satellite images from Aug. 31 show two plumes of white steam rising from a turbine building adjacent to the reactor. That steam is an essential byproduct of the reactor’s operation, and its venting suggests the “electrical generating system is about to come online,” the report said.

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Iran News Round Up

An enlargeable map of the Islamic Republic of Iran

An enlargeable map of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


June 7,2012



JUNE 7, 2012  |  Author: Ali Alfoneh      Editors: Michael Rubin and Ahmad Majidyar
* (E) – Article in English Previous editions of the Iran News Round Up are accessible at
Nuclear Issue

  • Said Jalili, Supreme National Security Council secretary and nuclear negotiator, in a letter to Catherine Ashton, EU’s foreign policy coordinator, criticizes “delay” in negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 Group at deputy level.
  • Jalili participates at the International Saint Petersburg Security Conference.
  • Deputy Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Baqeri, in a letter to Helga Schmitt, Catherine Ashton’s deputy, stresses the importance of expert level meetings prior to the Moscow negotiations.
    • As a spokesman of Ashton says Catherine Ashton has answered Baqeri’s letter, Media Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council writes that the letter not only fails to answer Baqeri’s letter, it is also “contrary to the Baghdad agreements.”
  • Ahmadinejad attending the Shanghai Pact’s Summit in Beijing meets the prime minister of China:
    • “Their opposition to the Islamic Republic’s use of peaceful nuclear energy is because of their conviction that Iran’s progress is not in their interest. They are always interested in Iran being backward and dependent on them in order to satisfy its needs… Iran is fully prepared to continue the negotiations in Moscow or even in China and has presented good proposals. However, since we, after the Baghdad negotiations and based on the agreements reached there, have on several occasions demanded continuation of the negotiations at the level of the deputies of Mrs. Ashton and the Supreme National Security Council secretary’s deputy and no result was achieved, we believe that the Westerners are making up excuses and are trying to kill time… The islamic Republic, despite the Western countries‘ lack of inclination to reach a result in the nuclear issue, is always ready to continue negotiations… My colleagues are following this issue within the framework of the law… most certainly, the policies of the government of China at the international level – to solve this issue as fast as possible – will help this issue. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not expect that the nuclear issue is solved at one meeting…”
  • Hossein Shariatmadari, Kayhan editor, warns that “whenever we do not consider negotiations expedient we will not hesitate stopping them.”

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Review:Statement of Principles, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Published 2009

English: Flag of the International Atomic Ener...

Image via Wikipedia

Statement of Principles

Statement of Principles, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

The 2009 Statement of Principles of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism are, according the U.S. Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, “a set of broad nuclear security goals that encompass a range of deterrence, detection, prevention, and response objectives. The eight principles contained within the SOP aim to develop partnership capacity to combat nuclear terrorism, consistent with national legal authorities and obligations as well as relevant international legal frameworks such as the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540″.

Participants in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism are committed to the following Statement of Principles to develop partnership capacity to combat nuclear terrorism on a determined and systematic basis, consistent with national legal authorities and obligations they have under relevant international legal frameworks, notably the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment, United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540. They call on all states concerned with this threat to international peace and security, to make a commitment to implement on a voluntary basis the following principles:

  • Develop, if necessary, and improve accounting, control and physical protection systems for nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances;
  • Enhance security of civilian nuclear facilities;
  • Improve the ability to detect nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances in order to prevent illicit trafficking in such materials and substances, to include cooperation in the research and development of national detection capabilities that would be interoperable;
  • Improve capabilities of participants to search for, confiscate, and establish safe control over unlawfully held nuclear or other radioactive materials and substances or devices using them.
  • Prevent the provision of safe haven to terrorists and financial or economic resources to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances;
  • Ensure adequate respective national legal and regulatory frameworks sufficient to provide for the implementation of appropriate criminal and, if applicable, civil liability for terrorists and those who facilitate acts of nuclear terrorism;
  • Improve capabilities of participants for response, mitigation, and investigation, in cases of terrorist attacks involving the use of nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances, including the development of technical means to identify nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances that are, or may be, involved in the incident; and
  • Promote information sharing pertaining to the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism and their facilitation, taking appropriate measures consistent with their national law and international obligations to protect the confidentiality of any information which they exchange in confidence. Continue reading


The Globalization of War

The “Military Roadmap” to World War III
Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham (Editors)
December 2011


[scroll down for Reader’s Table of Contents]
The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.

The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

The concept of the “Long War” has characterized US military doctrine since the end of World War II. The broader objective of global military dominance in support of an imperial project was first formulated under the Truman administration in the late 1940s at the outset of the Cold War.

In September 1990, some five weeks after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait, US President and Commander in Chief George Herbert Walker Bush delivered a historical address to a joint session of the US Congress and the Senate in which he proclaimed a New World Order emerging from the rubble of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union.

Bush Senior had envisaged a world of “peaceful international co-operation”, one which was no longer locked into the confrontation between competing super powers, under the shadow of the doctrine of  “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) which had characterized the Cold War era.

George H Walker Bush addressed a Joint Session
of the US Congress and the Senate, September 1990
Bush declared emphatically at the outset of what became known as “the post-Cold War era” that:
“a new partnership of nations has begun, and we stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times… a new world order can emerge: A new era freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, east and west, north and south, can prosper and live in harmony.”

Of course, speeches by American presidents are often occasions for cynical platitudes and contradictions that should not be taken at face value. After all, President Bush was holding forth on international law and justice only months after his country had invaded Panama in December 1989 causing the deaths of several thousand citizens – committing crimes comparable to what Saddam Hussein would be accused of and supposedly held to account for. Also in 1991, the US and its NATO allies went on to unleash, under a “humanitarian” mantle, a protracted war against Yugoslavia, leading to the destruction, fragmentation and impoverishment of an entire country.

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Iran’s Nuclear Program


Speakers: Elliott Abrams, CFR Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
Matthew Kroenig, CFR Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow
Ray Takeyh, CFR Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
Presider: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,

November 9, 2011
Council on Foreign Relations


BERNARD GWERTZMAN:  Greetings.  I’m Bernard Gwertzman.  I’m a consulting editor at the Council on Foreign Relations website and I do interviews with prominent experts, including the three men you have — will be talking with today.  I’m happy to introduce them.
We have Matthew Kroenig, who is the Stanton nuclear security fellow at the council, and he is an assistant professor at Georgetown and had worked as a strategist in the secretary of defense’s office.  He’s a nuclear specialist.  And I’ll ask him soon to explain what the nuclear debate’s all about.
And we have Elliott Abrams, who’s the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the council, who’s a long-time government official, starting in the Reagan administration, many different jobs, and was a senior director for human rights and for the Middle East in the Bush — in the last Bush administration.
And finally, Ray Takeyh, who is the council’s Iranian expert, who is senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies and briefly served as a special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia at the State Department.
Welcome, guys.  And I’d like to start by asking Mr. Kroenig to give us a short precis on what was in this report from the International Atomic energy Agency yesterday, that’s caused a lot of flurry.  And if you — if you wouldn’t mind, Matthew, giving us a summary.

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