New Talks with Iran

The United States, along with the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany (P5+1), are set to resume negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear program on February 26 in Kazakhstan.

In preparation for these talks, Ploughshares Fund grantee, The Arms Control Association, has released a new report, “Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle” authored by Tom Z. Collina, Kelsey Davenport, Daryl G. Kimball, and Greg Thielmann. The report provides a comprehensive, entry-level guide to Iran’s nuclear program and an evaluation of the available policy options.

The report includes:

  • A primer on the status of Iran’s nuclear program and an outline of steps Iran would take to build a nuclear weapon
  • An overview of the impact and role of sanctions imposed on Iran
  • An evaluation of the military option against Iran
  • A review of the current state of negotiations and options for a potential deal that could prevent a nuclear-armed Iran
  • A timeline showing the necessity of nuclear diplomacy with Iran from the origins of its nuclear program to the present
  • A brief history of official proposals on the Iranian nuclear issue

The authors conclude:

“International sanctions have slowed Iran's nuclear program ... yet these sanctions, even if tightened further, cannot stop Iran's nuclear pursuits. The use of military force ... short of a complete military occupation of the country, can only temporarily set back Iran's nuclear program and would likely prompt Iran to eject the IAEA inspectors and actively pursue nuclear weapons.”

They add:

“A close look at the military option reveals that it would fail at permanently halting Iran’s nuclear weapons pursuits and present grievous new challenges for U.S. foreign, domestic, and security policies, adding incalculable costs to the nation in blood and treasure.”

With the P5+1 talks approaching and Wednesday's implementation of increased economic sanctions toward Iran, this report provides readers with a useful guide to understanding the complexities of the Iranian nuclear puzzle. 

Now is the time for serious and sustained negotiations with Iran. The authors state, "A diplomacy-centered solution is difficult, but it is the best option on the table."


ACA is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

Photo by Arms Control Association