Countering Proliferation: The Challenge of the Nuclear Rogues
Nuclear proliferation and the actions of nuclear rogue states, in particular Iran and North Korea, continue to pose some of the toughest challenges facing U.S. policymakers. Iran is adding to its stock of enriched uranium and expanding its enrichment capability in the new Fardo underground facility. Additionally, the dialogue between Tehran and the United Nations Security Council Permanent Five plus Germany (the P5+1) remains stalemated, and Israeli leaders suggest the time for military action against Iran’s nuclear program is nearing. Meanwhile, senior U.S. and North Korean nuclear negotiators will soon meet to resume discussions halted by the death of Kim Jong Il, but Pyongyang’s uranium enrichment activities continue to persist without interruption or any monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
On Friday, March 2, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion of these critical issues featuring MacArthur Foundation President Robert Gallucci, Brookings Senior Fellows Suzanne Maloney and Jonathan Pollack, and Brookings President Strobe Talbott. Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control Initiative, moderated the discussion.
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The question with this administration is, what will Trump see as an acceptable return for this waiver [granted to India for its trade with Russia and Iran]? Will he demand a transaction in return, some give on the trade side or a big defence deal for the US as well? Russia and Iran are sticking points, but the fact that the Trump administration is dealing with these privately is a sign of how much the relationship has changed. [Mr Trump] usually doesn’t give out freebies.
For all of us who care about preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, what’s the best way to keep preventing that? [The JCPOA is] not perfect, but it’s something. These conventions are never based on the premise that all the parties are telling the truth, it’s about enforcement mechanisms. No arms control agreement is based in trust.