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Washington Institute Expertise on the Iran Nuclear Deal


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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As an international agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program turns from negotiation to ratification, stay ahead with the scholars at The Washington Institute. Our experts study and report on all aspects of Iran and American policy, from U.S. strategy to Iranian domestic politics to atomic technology to global energy markets to Arab and Israeli responses.

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U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

Ambassador James Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow

Iran Nuclear Deal Offers Shaky Compromise

"The only guarantee that Iran will not, like North Korea, develop nuclear weapons is the threat of military force."

How to Assess the Iran Deal and What to Do About It

"Nothing, including reluctantly accepting a really bad agreement, is as dangerous as leaving open the question of how the U.S. would react if Iran approaches a nuclear weapons capability."

Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement for U.S. Policy in the Middle East

"Any agreement should be judged not only on the basis of its verifiable, real restraints on Iran, but also by the context within which the agreement would operate: readiness to back it by far more explicit and credible readiness to use force to stop a breakout, and a far more active U.S. program to contain Iran's asymmetrical military, ideological, religious, economic, and diplomatic moves to expand its influence in the region."

Ambassador Dennis Ross, William Davidson Distinguished Fellow and Counselor

Iran Deal Leaves U.S. With Tough Questions

"After year 15, the deal, at that point, will legitimize the Islamic republic as a threshold nuclear state."

Iran Will Cheat. Then What?

"Given Iran's track record, it will likely cheat along the margins to test the means of verification and see how it might be able to change the baseline -- and there needs to be a penalty for each such act of non-compliance"

Robert Satloff, Executive Director and Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy

What's Really Wrong with the Iran Nuclear Deal

"The nuclear agreement is a strategy paper that maps Iran's emergence as a regional power, with the full blessing -- even support -- of the United States and the international community."

Michael Singh, Lane-Swig Senior Fellow and Managing Director

The Risk in Lifting Sanctions, and Pressure, on Iran's Weapons Activities

"If sanctions are fully lifted without Iran pledging to cease or limit its arms trafficking and ballistic missile activities, the next U.S. president will be left to find different options -- likely more forceful or less effective -- to counter Iranian behavior."

How Will the Iran Nuclear Deal Affect Broader U.S. Strategy?

"The agreement seems not to complement U.S. strategy but upend it."

Iran's Domestic Politics and Economy

Mehdi Khalaji, Libitzky Family Fellow

Khamenei vs. Rouhani: Projecting Very Different Views on the Nuclear Deal

"In Iran, the president and his negotiators have little authority over foreign policy, the nuclear program, or military activities. Instead, those sectors are under the purview of Supreme Leader Khamenei."

The Nuclear Deal May Weaken Rouhani

"Internal signs indicate that Rouhani will face a tough challenge in the coming weeks and months, since he will be caught between hardliner suspicions and inflated public expectations."

Patrick Clawson, Morningstar Senior Fellow and Director of Research

How Iran's Economic Gain from a Nuclear Deal Might Affect Its Foreign Policy

"The additional resources unleashed by a nuclear deal will put Iran in a better position to spend more on foreign adventurism, but the basic factors determining the scope and nature of such expenditures will remain political, not economic."

Iran's Non-Nuclear Mischief

Matthew Levitt, Fromer-Wexler Fellow and Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Keeping Iran's Feet to the Fire (with David Makovsky)

"At the core of the nuclear negotiations is major sanctions relief for Tehran, which will provide it with sufficient resources to dramatically expand its destabilizing role in the region."

Deterring Iran

Michael Eisenstadt, Kahn Fellow and Director, Military & Security Studies Program

Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout

"Deterring an Iranian breakout, most likely at clandestine sites, will remain a core U.S. imperative for the foreseeable future."

Arab Reactions to the Nuclear Deal

Lori Plotkin Boghardt, Barbara Kay Family Fellow 

Gulf Fears of Iranian Subversion

"Riyadh and other Gulf capitals are concerned that an emboldened Iran might increase subversive activity in their own countries, especially in Bahrain."

Israel's View of the Nuclear Deal

Michael Herzog, Milton Fine International Fellow

We Should Not Let Euphoria About the Iran Nuclear Deal Cloud Our Judgment

"As gloomy as this prospect is for those of us on the sharp end, now is not the time to despair. The closing of the agreement is a dramatic watershed, but not the final word."

Iran's Nuclear Program and Global Energy Markets

Simon Henderson, Baker Fellow and Director, Gulf and Energy Policy Program

How to Make Sure Iran's One-Year Nuclear Breakout Time Does Not Shrink (with former IAEA safeguards chief Olli Heinonen)

"Even without hidden facilities, establishing most any Iranian violation of the agreement would likely take several months."