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Experts Available for Comment on Iran Nuclear Deal
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Leading nonproliferation experts from around the world have discussed and supported the emerging comprehensive nuclear deal between the United States, other world powers, and Iran that will ensure Iran's nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful. A group of 30 issued an April 6 joint statement after the Lausanne framework was announced stating, "When implemented, it will put in place an effective, verifiable, enforceable, long-term plan to guard against the possibility of a new nuclear-armed state in the Middle East."

These experts are available for comment on the final deal: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 

How to contact: If you need assistance reaching an expert, please contact Arms Control Association Communications Director Tony Fleming ([email protected]).

Daryl G. Kimball is the Executive Director of the independen, nonpartisan, Arms Control Association, which has been a leading voice for an effective agreement to block Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons. Kimball has recently published op-eds in the Virginian-PilotDefense One, The Baltimore Sun, and The National Interest explaining the merits of the Iran nuclear negotiations and the practical effectiveness of a deal. He has also recently appeared on NPR and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. He has met regularly with diplomats on both sides of the negotiating table and has published analyses and recommendations that have informed the talks. He is a co-author of the Arms Control Association's comprehensive briefing book on the JCPOA titled "Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle," and is the co-organizer of the statement issued by more than 75 nonproliferation specialists in support of the agreement.

Kimball has emphasized, “There is no better deal on the horizon. For over a decade, Iran has resisted pressure to dismantle its nuclear facilities. Additional pressure (even if Washington could persuade other countries to match tougher sanctions) would not suddenly persuade Iran's leaders to capitulate…The P5+1 agreement with Iran would be a major boost for U.S. and international security, for Israel and our other friends in the region, and for global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.”

Twitter: @DarylGKimball

Direct phone number: 202.277.3478

Kelsey Davenport is the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association. Her expert understanding and analysis of the Iranian nuclear deal make her a very sought-out source--she has been quoted in numerous outlets, including the LA TimesAFPPolitico, and The Washington Post. Davenport recently appeared on Fox News and MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner to discuss the merits and finer points of the Iran nuclear negotiations.

Davenport has also published several op-eds including a piece in the New Jersey Star-Ledger cautioning members of Congress not to block implementation of “a good deal by voting to disapprove it,” or they will own the consequences.

Twitter: @KelseyDav

Direct phone number: 317.460.8806 

James Acton is Co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A physicist by training, Acton specializes in deterrence, disarmament, nonproliferation, and nuclear energy.

Acton has published in The National InterestThe New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy and has appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Bloomberg News' Bottom Line, and PBS NewsHour

Twitter: @james_acton32

Prof. Matthew Bunn is the Co-Principal Investigator at the Project on Managing the Atom, part of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. InThe National Interest, he notes, “Technically, the deal just announced would substantially reduce Iran’s ability to produce nuclear bomb material at known facilities, make it harder for Iran to build secret facilities, and greatly strengthen inspections."

Bunn is the author or co-author of more than 20 books and technical reports (most recently including Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation), and over a hundred articles in publications ranging from Science and Nuclear Technology to Foreign Policy and The Washington Post. He appears regularly on television and radio.  

Joe Cirincione is President of the Ploughshares Fund--a global security organization--and a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s International Security Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has recently appeared on MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt, MSNBC’s The Ed Show, and NPR with Michele Kelemen (3:05-3:30) explaining and supporting the Iran negotiations.

He also published an op-ed in Defense One where he reminded the public that “Zero [centrifuges] is a fantasy. “The key to a solid deal is to couple limits on the number of centrifuges with other limits that prevent Iran from quickly building a bomb should it break the deal,” Cirincione writes.

Twitter: @Cirincione

Amb. Robert L. Gallucci, returns to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he was long-serving dean from 1996-2009, to teach a graduate seminar on “The Impact of Nuclear Weapons on International and Regional Security.” As co-author of an April 10 op-ed in The New York Times, he writes, “As American negotiators move toward a final agreement with Iran by the end of June, they are right to look to our experience with North Korea. But they should ignore the critics who say that the lesson is to abandon diplomacy. Diplomacy can succeed with political will and sustained focus. We just need to remember that the deal itself is only the beginning."

From 2009-2014, Gallucci was president of the MacArthur Foundation.  Previously, he served for more than 20 years as a U.S. diplomat. As Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy for the U.S. Department of State, he dealt with the threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. He was chief U.S. negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis of 1994, and served as Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs and as Deputy Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission overseeing the disarmament of Iraq following the first Gulf War.

Ellie Geranmayeh is Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations focused on European foreign policy in relation to Iran. She has extensive experience in public international law, border disputes, and sanctions regimes.

In a March 10 news article in The New York Times on the congressional letter to Iranian President Rouhani, Geranmayeh says “Even if the talks fail because Iran takes a maximalist position when negotiating behind closed doors, the blame will nevertheless be placed on the U.S. legislators for poisoning negotiations.”

Twitter: @elliegeranmayeh

Ilan Goldenberg is Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security and a foreign policy and defense expert with extensive government experience covering Iran’s nuclear program. He has recently published pieces in ReutersPolitico, and Foreign Policy and has been quoted in The Washington PostBloombergChristian Science Monitor, and The Boston Globe.

Goldenberg has cautioned “both opponents and supporters of the deal should take a lesson from the Obamacare experience. If there is an agreement, rather than trying to fruitlessly weaken the deal as Republicans have done since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress should look for a more constructive role.”

Twitter: @ilangoldenberg

Richard Nephew is former Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the U.S. State Department and Director for Iran on the National Security Staff.  He is now Program Director of Economic Statecraft, Sanctions and Energy Markets, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and non-resident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Center at Brookings. 

In this month’s widely-quoted Brookings Middle East Politics & Policy blog, Nephew states, “5 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium is not a bomb’s worth. Far from it. And it remains in oxide form, not gas form, so its ready use in enrichment is reduced significantly.”

In Nephew’s May 21 op-ed in Reuters, he writes, “While sanctions have yielded impressive geopolitical results, restraint and reform is critical to preserving our ability to continue using sanctions as a foreign policy tool and improving their effectiveness.”

Twitter: @RNephewCGEP

George Perkovich is Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research focuses on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, with a concentration on South Asia and Iran. Perkovich is an adviser to the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Task Force on U.S. Nuclear Policy. He served as a speechwriter and foreign policy adviser to Senator Joe Biden from 1989 to 1990.

Perkovich's analysis has been featured in many major dailies and journals and he is a regular guest on various NPR shows, PBS, BBC and other broadcasts. In his April 28 article, he makes clear the differences between the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea and the emerging nuclear deal with Iran. On the issue of monitoring and verification, he writes, "The proposed arrangement with Iran would allow international monitoring of Iran’s uranium enrichment activities from cradle to grave, as it were. The IAEA would verify activities at uranium mines and mills, all facilities involved in producing and storing centrifuge rotors, and all centrifuge assembly facilities. The proposed arrangement affirms that the IAEA would monitor the only site where enrichment will be permitted—Natanz—and also the research and development site at Fordo. Verification of activities at such an early stage in the fuel cycle would create an important precedent for other non-nuclear-weapons states that might wish to undertake enrichment in the future."

Twitter: @PerkovichG

Amb. Thomas R. Pickering is former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, as well as former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan. After a distinguished career spanning four decades, he holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. He is currently Vice Chair at Hills & Company, an international business and investment consultancy firm. Pickering is also a member at The Iran Project, an independent non-governmental organization that has been working on establishing informal dialogues between the United States and Iran.

At The Iran Project’s June 3 launch of their most recent report, Pickering noted, “Without an agreement, it is unlikely that the existing Iranian government or its replacement would have the authority or desire to agree to collaborate over other U.S. objectives in the region—Iraq, ISIS, Syria, and Afghanistan. Iran’s reaction to the renewal of sanctions would probably be to build its nuclear program with renewed conviction in America’s assumed interest in regime change."

Pickering has been quoted in numerous publications and appeared on almost every major news network.  You can find his June 2 NPR debate on “Is Obama’s Iran Deal Good for America?” here.

Paul R. Pillar is a former CIA counter-terrorism officer who has focused almost exclusively on the Middle East and South Asia. He is now a Senior Fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution. Pillar has appeared on PBS Newshour and on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show; he is also a regular contributor to The National Interest.

In his June 8 op-ed, "No Iran Isn't Destabilizing the Middle East," Mr. Pillar notes, "If the United States were to demonstrate that it is not going to remove existing sanctions in return for Iran's concessions on its nuclear program, the Iranians would have no reason to believe that still more concessions on their part would bring the removal of still more sanctions—and thus they would not make any more concessions.”

Posted: June 21, 2015