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Working Papers & Monographs
May 30, 2013 Greg Jones: Iranian Uranium Enrichment Passes into Israel's Redline
In various papers since 2008, this author has outlined how Iran's growing centrifuge enrichment program could provide it with the ability to produce Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) and thereby the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons. On May 22, 2013, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published its latest safeguards update, which shows that Iran has continued the rapid expansion of its enrichment program. 
May 14, 2013 Victor Gilinsky: Sometimes Major Violations of Nuclear Security Get Ignored
The traditional justification for accepting nuclear power activities around the world, despite their obvious technological overlap with military ones, is that they are covered by agreements restricting them to “peaceful uses,” and that any violations of these agreements would be detected in time by international inspectors or by national intelligence. The trouble is, even when solid information on violations is available early enough, the main countries on whose action international enforcement depends are sometimes reluctant to take needed action.
May 06, 2013 Greg Jones: America's 1962 Reactor-Grade Plutonium Weapons Test Revisited
In 1977, the U.S. declassified the fact that in 1962 it had successfully tested a nuclear weapon using reactor-grade plutonium.  In 1994 additional information about this test was released.  Though on the face of it this test would seem to definitively settle the issue about whether reactor-grade plutonium can be used in nuclear weapons, ironically the specifics related to this nuclear test have generated some of the most controversy.  
Apr 08, 2013 Robert Zarate: The Non-Use and Abuse of Nuclear Proliferation Intelligence in the Cases of North Korea and Iran
One of the key assumptions shared by backers of military counter-proliferation is that with enough timely intelligence, the U.S. and its key allies can bomb, interdict, sabotage, and otherwise neutralize the nuclear weapons efforts of proliferating states. The presumption here is that it is the supply of intelligence, rather than the timely use and demand for it from policy makers and military planners, that is preventing more robust counter-proliferation activity. At some level this certainly must be true. Yet, in the important current cases of Iran and North Korea, it is nowhere near as important as the demand problem. The attached NPEC-commissioned study by Robert Zarate, Policy Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, "The Non-Use and Abuse of Nuclear Proliferation Intelligence: The Cases of North Korea and Iran," makes this case forcefully. His conclusion, after detailing what is known about how we have used the intelligence we had on these programs, is that if we are unwilling to act on the basis of early proliferation information when only modest actions are needed, it is a mistake to assume we will be more likely to act later when more heroic measures are required.
Mar 19, 2013 Greg Jones: Iran Could Get Two Bombs in Four Months
In various papers since 2008, this author has outlined how Iran’s growing centrifuge enrichment program could provide it with the ability to produce Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) and thereby the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons. On February 21, 2013, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published its latest safeguards update which shows that Iran has continued its rapid expansion of its enrichment program.  
Sep 10, 2012 Greg Jones: Is the West Playing a Game With Iran That It Has Already Lost?
As Iran's nuclear program progresses, policy and opinion makers have crowded the airwaves pleading either to negotiate a "solution" or, more recently, to bomb or sanction Iran's nuclear activities away. The presumption is that the "window of vulnerability" for Iran's nuclear-weapons related activities has not quite closed, and that there's still time before Tehran "gets" the bomb. This, however, may be wishful thinking. In his most recent analysis of Iran's nuclear activities, "Is the West Playing a Game With Iran That It Has Already Lost?", NPEC's Senior Researcher, Greg Jones, makes a convincing case that negotiating a deal with Iran or launching a military strike to prevent it from acquiring a quickly reconstitutable bomb option is no longer possible. As for sanctions, they are unlikely to block Iran's further nuclear progress. This, Jones argues, may explain why, after a year of Israeli agitation for a military strike and extensive international efforts to cut a diplomatic deal with Iran, nothing has happened. Jones' key recommendation, and one that has received far too little attention, is that the U.S. and other key nuclear supplier states focus on preventing future Irans. Specifically, Jones recommends that the strictures against making nuclear fuel contained in the United States-United Arab Emirates (UAE) civil nuclear cooperative agreement of 2009 be applied to all civilian nuclear cooperation with states that lack nuclear weapons. As Jones explains, if no action is taken to tighten existing nuclear controls, Iran and other states are likely to push ahead with "declared" nuclear fuel making activities producing a world full of Irans.
Aug 13, 2012 Richard Cleary: Persuading Countries to Forgo Nuclear Fuel-Making
Two weeks ago, word leaked out that the Obama Administration was putting the finishing touches on a U.S. civilian nuclear cooperative agreement with Taiwan that required it to forswear making nuclear fuel, a process that can bring states to the very brink of making nuclear weapons. This was the second time the U.S. had met the nonproliferation “Gold Standard” for such agreements, a standard the Obama Administration first met with the finalization of the U.S.-United Arab Emirates nuclear cooperative deal in 2009.    What’s odd is that almost as soon as news of this diplomatic success with Taiwan got out, the State Department seemed to want to disown it. “You know, I really don’t like this term, the ‘Gold Standard,’” Rose Gottemoeller, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, said at a conference in Omaha. “The notion that somehow everything else we’re doing already is not served by our policy with regard to the [nuclear trade] agreements does not sit well,” she explained.   Perhaps, but members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs have repeatedly complained that the State Department may be all too willing to negotiate nuclear cooperative agreements with Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and South Korea that would fail the Gold Standard. Why are the members of the Committee so anxious on this score? They have been around long enough to know how well America has fared in its past efforts to persuade other countries to forgo making nuclear fuel.    That history is mixed.  Richard Cleary of the American Enterprise Institute details it well in NPEC’s recently released volume Nuclear Nonproliferation: Moving Beyond Pretense. Mr. Cleary’s chapter, “Persuading Countries to Forgo Nuclear Fuel-Making: What History Suggests,” assesses how well America fared in its efforts to get Iran, Brazil, South Korea, and Pakistan to forgo making nuclear fuel. His conclusion: for all of its efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear fuel making, the U.S., so far, has hardly been “steadfast”, but making the Gold Standard stick might yet set matters on a sounder footing.   
Aug 02, 2012 Susan Voss: Tracking Nuclear Proliferation within a Commercial Power Program
As speculation rises about if and when Israel might strike Iran's nuclear program, it's worth considering how Iran got to where it is now with its program. Iran started in earnest with its nuclear efforts by initiating a nuclear power reactor construction program at Bushehr. Such "peaceful" projects are "bomb starter kits" in a number of ways. First, the reactors themselves can be used to make significant quantities of nuclear weapons-usable plutonium. Second, and easily as important in Iran's case, they can be used as covers to acquire the training, equipment, material, and technologies needed to do far more than boil water. This latter point is one that President Bill Clinton and Ambassador John Bolton both emphasized. Specifically, though, what does it mean? Attached is an NPEC working paper by Susan Voss, "Tracking Nuclear Proliferation within a Commercial Power Program," which tells the tale in critical detail. Ms. Voss, who was an analyst at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is currently the President of the Global Nuclear Network Analysis, LLC, is one of the nation's top experts on Iran's civilian nuclear program and how Iran used it to acquire all that it needed to edge ever closer to acquiring nuclear weapons. It's quite revealing how brazen Iran was in using its program to secure Russian nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons-related technology and training in relative plain sight. By revealing and analyzing these transactions, Ms. Voss also spotlights what the intelligence requirements must be for any serious nonproliferation effort. This is an area we still need to work on.
Jun 28, 2012 Matthew Fuhrmann: Preventive War and the Spread of Nuclear Programs
In Foreign Affair's most recent featured cover article, "Why Iran Should Get the Bomb:  Nuclear Balancing Would Be Stabilizing", the author, Ken Waltz, imagines a peaceful proliferated Persian Gulf. Putting aside the improbability of the kind of automatic nuclear balance the author presumes between Israel and Iran, Dr. Waltz ignores just how militarily provocative states' efforts to get the bomb have been. This history is detailed and assessed in the attached NPEC-commissioned analysis by Dr. Matthew Furhmann of Texas A&M entitled, “Preventive War and the Spread of Nuclear Programs".  It makes for sober reading. In the last three decades, the U.S., Israel, Iran, and Iraq have planned or executed preemptive military strikes against Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea.  Over 10 military strikes were executed.  Going back further in history, the list of serious preemptive strikes and plans is much longer. It is also interesting to note that a good number of the targeted nuclear programs that Dr. Furhrmann's covers in his study were "peaceful" and safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency.  This hardly argues well for the further expansion of nuclear power in the Middle East. It certainly is not the picture of proliferated "stability" that Dr. Waltz propounds.
Jun 14, 2012 Patrick Roberts: Can IAEA Safeguards Work if Nuclear Power Grows?
NPEC recently commissioned a study, "How Well Will the IAEA Be Able to Safeguard More Nuclear Materials in More States?" by Patrick Roberts of Virginia Tech to examine the assumption that if the IAEA has proper access, it should be able to safeguard against diversions. Dr. Roberts has been studying the workings of the IAEA both here and overseas for nearly two years. His conclusion is that in many cases, IAEA safeguards may not be up to the task, and that the number of these occasions is likely to increase as nuclear plants are built in a larger number of countries unless fundamental reforms to the agency are made. Among his key recommendations are that the IAEA develop clearer performance metrics for its safeguards system, that the agency's authorities to inspect be increased, and that its safeguards efforts be backed not just with more resources, but with more predictable, firm enforcement measures by the United Nations Security Council.
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The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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