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UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
June 2, 2022
Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle Briefing Series

Latest ACA Resources

In 2010, ACA initiated a series of in-depth briefings on "Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle," which assess the threats posed by Iran's nuclear and missile programs and explore policy options to address them.

The briefing series is made possible with the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, and contributions from individual ACA members.


Iran Nuclear Brief: Options for a Diplomatic Solution
Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Since President Barack Obama took office four years ago, diplomats from the P5+1 group of states (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) and Iran have engaged in renewed but intermittent discussions aimed at resolving concerns about Iran's nuclear program. So far, however, the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement that would bridge the differences between the proposals that have been exchanged during the talks.

The full text of the brief, "Options for a Diplomatic Solution to the Iranian Nuclear Challenge" is available online.

Iran Nuclear Brief: The November 2012 IAEA Report on Iran and Its Implications
Friday, November 16, 2012

The new quarterly report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran’s nuclear program finds that Tehran has continued to install more centrifuges for uranium enrichment at its underground complex at Fordow, although the total number of operating centrifuges at Fordow has not yet increased, according to the Agency. The IAEA report also notes that while Iran continues to experiment with advanced and more efficient types of centrifuges, it is not yet using them for production-scale operations. The IAEA also reports that Iran has continued enriching uranium to the 20% level at the previously reported rate and that its stockpile of 20% material has increased moderately.

The the full text of the brief, "The November 2012 IAEA Report on Iran and Its Implications" is available online.

Iran Nuclear Brief: Iran Nuclear Negotiations
Thursday, June 28, 2012

On June 19, Iran concluded the third round of talks on its nuclear program in as many months, this time in Moscow, with senior officials of the six powers - the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China. Although there were strong incentives for the six to secure limits on Iran's most worrisome stockpiles of enriched uranium and for Iran to avoid an impending tightening of economic sanction, no breakthrough was achieved by the end of the latest round. But neither did diplomatic dialogue come to an end.

The the full text of the brief, "The November 2012 IAEA Report on Iran and Its Implications" is available online.

Iran Nuclear Brief: The Breakout Option: Raising the Bar for the Supreme Leader
Thursday, April 5, 2012

The U.S. intelligence community still assesses that Tehran has not yet actually decided to build a nuclear weapon. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would be the one to give that order and the one who would control the weapons. It is therefore worth pondering what steps could discourage him from proceeding down the nuclear weapons path.

The the full text of the brief "The Breakout Option: Raising the Bar for the Supreme Leader," is available online.

Diplomatic Strategies for Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran
Thursday, February 9, 2012, 9:30am to 11:00am

Amid rising tensions over Iran's nuclear program, the key parties engaged in the issue have all said they are interested in a diplomatic solution to the current impasse. In a letter on behalf of the P5+1 last October, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton called on Iran to return to serious talks on the nuclear file. Iranian officials have said they are ready for talks and are preparing a formal response.

Iran Nuclear Brief: Charting a Diplomatic Path On the Iran Nuclear Challenge
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Earlier this month, Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili reportedly sent a letter to European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton—who represents the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States)—in response to the six-country offer for the renewal of serious talks on Iran’s nuclear program. With the P5+1 insisting that a diplomatic path to resolve the issue remains open and Tehran’s professed interest in dialogue, the question arises: what steps could the two sides take to resolve the impasse?

The full text of the brief "Charting a Diplomatic Path On the Iran Nuclear Challenge" is available online.

Iran Nuclear Brief: The Path to Avoiding War and Resolving the Nuclear Crisis
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

U.S.-Iranian relations are bad and getting worse. The New Year has opened with rising tensions between the United States and Iran and an increased prospect of war—either intentional or accidental.

The full Iran Nuclear Brief: “Diplomatic Engagement: The Path to Avoiding War and Resolving the Nuclear Crisis," is available online.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Iran Nuclear Brief: Making Sense of the IAEA’s Latest Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Monday, December 5, 2011

The release of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest report on Iran’s nuclear program in early November attracted intense media interest and stimulated strong political reactions in the United States and around the world. The IAEA report and its 14-page annex represented a milestone for the Vienna-based agency in terms of its willingness to present detailed information to the public on activities of concern in Iran’s nuclear program.

The Thielmann and Loehrke Brief: "The IAEA's November Report on Iran: More Confirmation than Revelation," is available online.

Iran Nuclear Brief: Assessing Iran's Nuclear Program Without Exaggeration or Complacency

Monday, October 3, 2011

The following Iran Nuclear Brief by Mark Fitzpatrick, Director of the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, is based on his presentation at the September 19 briefing. It provides a status report on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs and an evaluation of their potential as a nuclear weapons threat.

The Fitzpatrick Brief: "Assessing Iran’s Nuclear Program Without Exaggeration or Complacency," is available online.

Iran's Nuclear Program: Status and Prospects
Monday, September 19, 2011, 2:30 pm-4:00 pm

A full transcript from the Arms Control Association's press briefing held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. is available on line here.

The “Military Option" for Countering Iran’s Nuclear Program

Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 9:00 am-10:30 am

On the 30th anniversary of Israel’s 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak reactor, experts provided informed perspectives on the likely consequences of any U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran designed to destroy Iran’s potential nuclear weapons capabilities. [Transcript Available Here]

The Impact of Sanctions on Iran's Nuclear Program
Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 9:00 am - 11:00 am

This panel provided an informed perspective on the Obama administration's policy regarding Iran sanctions and the role they play as part of an overall strategy to address Iran's nuclear program. [Transcript Available Here]

Toward a Negotiated Solution
Thursday, January 20, 2011, 9:30 am - 11:00 am

This panel provided expert perspectives and recommendations on a path forward to solving the Iranian nuclear puzzle. It addressed questions on the role of the negotiations in Istanbul and identified key elements and steps to achieving a negotiated agreement on the nuclear issue.[Transcript Available Here]

The Status of Iran's Nuclear and Missile Programs
Monday, November 22, 2010, 9:30 am - 11:00 am

As renewed talks with Iran on its nuclear program were poised to begin and discussions were held in Europe over missile defense, this panel took an informed look at where Iran's nuclear and missile capabilities stood and what could be expected from intelligence assessments of these capabilities.[Transcript Available Here]