Associate Professor Matthew Bunn of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government offers a stark dose of realism in a new policy paper assessing the prospects for reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
Bunn, an expert on nuclear security and proliferation issues, argues that a new round of negotiations with Iran has virtually zero chance of getting Iran to stop all enrichment of uranium, however tough the sanctions become. Iran already has 8,000 centrifuges in place, after all. So insisting on zero centrifuges would all but ensure there is no deal -- a dangerous outcome that could raise the chances of a military showdown.
Bunn says the best alternative for the United States and its European partners is to reach a deal that would allow Iran very limited enrichment in exchange for full transparency and strict controls on Iran's nuclear program. That would fulfill the ultimate Western goal of ensuring Iran does not pursue a nuclear weapons program.
Here's a link to the report, titled Beyond Zero Enrichment: Suggestions for an Iranian Nuclear Deal.
Bunn is a lead investigator for the Managing the Atom program in the Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, one of the country's leading academic research institutes on nuclear and defense policy issues.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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