The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
Lawrence M. KraussLynn EdenRobert RosnerAlexander GlaserEdward "Rocky" Kolb Leon LedermanRamamurti RajaramanM. V. RamanaElizabeth J. WilsonRichard C. J. SomervilleSivan KarthaJennifer SimsRod Ewing
A careful review of threats leads the Bulletin's Science and Security Board to conclude that the risk of civilization-threatening technological catastrophe remains high, and that the hands of the Doomsday Clock should therefore remain at five minutes to midnight.
Based on an Institute for Science and International Security report, the Washington Post recently claimed that Iranian agents tried to buy 100,000 highly specialized, ring-shaped magnets allegedly intended for centrifuge machines, supposedly signaling a major expansion of Iran's nuclear program.
The magnets in question are not highly specialized and have many uses besides centrifuges; for example, such ceramic ring magnets have been used in loudspeakers for more than half a century.
On an issue as important as Iran's nuclear program, analysts and reporters should not jump to conclusions that are unsupported by evidence.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that "purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 … ring-shaped magnets" and that such "highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines … [are] a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program." As evidence, the Post's Jo
In talks with the United States late in February, North Korea agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment in a specific facility at Yongbyon and to initiate a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests. When the United States and North Korea made the bilateral "leap-day deal," the suspension of enrichment was rightly hailed as one of the great successes of the arrangement.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a lecturer and research scholar at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, is the highest-ranking member of Iran's political elite living in the United States. He has been a close adviser to many key Iranian figures across the political spectrum, ranging from the moderate former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and reformist former President Mohammad Khatami to conservative former speaker of parliament Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri and the former chief nuclear negotiator and current head of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani.
After a year-long stalemate, nuclear negotiations with Iran are expected to restart. Since October 2009, the deal to refuel Tehran's medical isotope reactor proposed by the Vienna Group -- France, Russia, the United States, and the IAEA -- has been the touchstone of engagement.
Multilateral diplomacy is hardly destined to become a spectator sport. For most people--for almost all people, really--"talk shops" like the United Nations fail to get the blood racing. If successful, they tend to produce results gradually, fitfully, and by a series of compromises.
The release of the declassified summary of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities" on December 3, 2007 was an event of major political and strategic significance. Its conclusion with "high confidence" that Iran halted its military nuclear activities in fall 2003 removed, for the foreseeable future at least, any grounds for military action to prevent Tehran's further progress in the nuclear field. This outcome has been welcomed in many quarters in the United States and elsewhere, but it has also generated intense debate and some controversy.