CISTP Hosts Faculty Panel on Iran Nuclear Deal


Chris McDermott

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On September 9, 2015, the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) hosted a panel discussion entitled, “Iran Nuclear Deal: Triumph of Diplomacy or Dangerous Precedent.”

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  • CISTP Iran Panel CISTP Iran Panel

On September 9, 2015, the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) hosted a panel discussion entitled, “Iran Nuclear Deal: Triumph of Diplomacy or Dangerous Precedent.” The panelist reviewed key technical details of the recent JPCOA, as well as discussed critically drivers for the multilateral nuclear deal and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, as well as implications of the deal moving forward. Discussants included Professor Emeritus John Garver, Associate Professor Margaret Kosal, Assistant Professor Larry Rubin, Assistant Professor Jarrod Hayes, and Colonel Lonnie Carlson, Ph.D., a visiting fellow from the Army War College, all from the Sam Nunn School; and Professor Nolan Hertel from the School of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering. The panel was moderated by Nunn School Professor and CISTP Co-Director, Adam Stulberg.

In front of a crowd of over 200 people, Dr. Adam Stulberg opened the proceedings with a general overview of prominent aspects of the Iran deal before proposing pointed questions to the panelists.

As an expert on Sino-Iran diplomacy, Dr. John Garver conveyed China’s perspective, stating that Beijing welcomed the deal, as it regards an alternative short of mutual compromise as a recipe for an eventual war between the United States and Iran – a disastrous outcome for China.

Dr. Margaret Kosal discussed deterrence and strategy in complex 21st century geopolitics, and stated that the agreement was a clear success for non-proliferation.  She stated the Iran agreement is unique because it is reflection of technical expertise and science diplomacy, which has often been lacking in other agreements negotiated solely by policy-oriented experts.

Dr. Larry Rubin, an expert on regional security in Middle East, offered insight on the regional implications for the deal.  He argued that the agreement was a step in the right direction, but it may not have the transformative effect that is expected.  He explains that future actions by the United States in the Middle East, how those actions will be perceived by other regional actors, and destructive local conflicts will have a significant effect on the potency of the agreement.

Dr. Jarrod Hayes discussed Iran’s motivations for the completing the deal.  He underscored the prestige value of nuclear programs, noting that it places Iran within an elite group of states that also confers respect on Persian civilization. He argued that Iran is arguably in its most secure point in its long history.

As an officer in the US Army, Colonel Lonnie Carlson offered his own unique expertise on WMD proliferation and reasons why the United States pursued a deal. 

Dr. Nolan Hertel discussed the technical aspects of a nuclear weapon, differentiating between a plutonium and uranium weapon, as well as the different levels of skill required to build each weapon. He also briefly touched on the technical issues of monitoring Iran’s compliance with the deal.

These panelist remarks were followed up by an extensive Q&A session. Audience engagement was keen, and reflected the widespread engagement on the campus community on this momentous issue in American foreign policy.


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Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Education, Economic Development and Policy, Special Events and Guest Speakers, Student and Faculty, Military Technology
Related Core Research Areas
National Security, People and Technology
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iran, iran deal, Middle East
  • Created By: Kenny Risner
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Sep 23, 2015 - 6:57am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:19pm