Iran’s quest for the development of nuclear program has been marked by enormous financial costs and risks. It is estimated that the program’s cost is well over $100 billion, with the construction of the Bushehr reactor costing over $11 billion, making it one of the most expensive reactors in the world.
The Federation of American Scientists and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have released a new report, “Iran’s Nuclear Odyssey: Costs and Risks” which analyzes the economic effects of Iran’s nuclear program, and policy implications of sanctions and other actions by the United States and other allies. Co-authored by Ali Vaez and Karim Sadjadpour, the report details the history of the program, beginning with its inception under the Shah in 1957, and how the Iranian government has continue to grow their nuclear capabilities under a shroud of secrecy. Coupled with Iran’s limited supply of uranium and insecure stockpiles of nuclear materials, along with Iran’s desire to invest in nuclear energy to revitalize their energy sector (which is struggling due to international sanctions), the authors examine how these huge costs have led to few benefits.
The report analyzes the policy implications of Iran’s nuclear program for the United States and its allies, concluding that economic sanctions nor military force cannot end this prideful program; it is imperative that a diplomatic solution is reached to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful. Finally, efforts need to be made to the Iranians from Washington which clearly state that America and its allies prefer a prosperous and peaceful Iran versus an isolated and weakened Iran. Public diplomacy and nuclear diplomacy must go hand in hand.
A country with few natural resources, first Japan began to develop nuclear power technologies in 1954. Nuclear energy assisted with Japanese economic development and reconstruction post World War II. However, with the fear of lethal ash and radioactive fallout and the lingering effects from the 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, there are many concerns related to Japanese nonproliferation, security and nuclear policy.
In a FAS issue brief, Ms. Kazuko Goto, Research Fellow of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of the Government of Japan, writes of Japan’s advancement of nuclear technologies which simultaneously benefits international nonproliferation policies.
Iran’s controversial nuclear program has been front and center on the international stage for more than eight years. Despite negotiations, sanctions, and political tug-of-war, the United States and its allies have yet to tame Iran’s atomic phoenix. At the center of this nuclear standoff is Iran’s controversial uranium enrichment program and efforts to obtain full nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities. To alleviate concerns about the intended nature of these activities, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has demanded -through six resolutions – that Iran suspend enrichment activities as well as construction of a heavy-water research reactor. Yet, Iran has opted to pay no heed to these resolutions and despite numerous proposals from different sides, the stalemate persists.
Dr. Charles D. Ferguson and Dr. Ali Vaez, authored a FAS report (PDF) analyzing the outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program, and provide recommendations to the major stakeholders in this debate including Iran, the United States, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Additionally, the report proposes a multipronged approach to resolving this deadlock, including enhanced safeguards and positive-sum diplomacy with incentives for Iran and other aspiring nuclear states.
While diplomats and officials claim Iran has slowed down its nuclear drive, new analysis shows that Iran’s enrichment capacity grew during 2010 and warns against complacency as five world powers resume talks.
President Obama’s deadline to address concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program passed at the end of 2009, so the White House is moving to harsher sanctions. But the U.S. is having trouble rallying the needed international support because Iranian intentions remain ambiguous.