What Now? The Iran Nuclear Deal

Monday, September 21, 2015 - 5:00pm


Payam Mohseni

Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs

John Tirman

Executive Director; MIT Center for International Studies


Join us on September 21 for a panel discussion, moderated by R. Scott Kemp, on "What Now?: The Iran Nuclear Deal" with panelists John Tirman of the MIT Center of International Studies, Lisbeth Gronlund of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Payam Mohseni of the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center

On July 14, following years of diplomacy and disagreement, 6 world powers (P5+1), US, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany, reached an accord with Iran. The agreement allows Iran to enrich uranium, but only to 3.67%. This level of enriched uranium can be used for civilian and medical purposes, and is much lower than what would be needed for weapon construction. The deal cuts down on the number of centrifuges that Iran can utilize and this would increase the so-called "breakout time"--the time it could take to build a weapon--from 2-3 months to one year or more. 

The agreement will result in the dropping of economic sanctions in phases and enable Iran to increase their oil markets and to join main-stream, global financial systems. For years, these sanctions have been in place and have created economic hardships for Iran.

Although historic in nature, the agreement has created controversy here in the United States, primarily with Republican leaders, and with the state of Israel.  Congress will vote on the agreement in mid-September. It is thought that President Obama has enough votes to get the agreement passed, despite the Republican push-back, along with two defecting Democratic Senators, Charles Schumer of New York and Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

This discussion will  examine the strengths and weaknesses of the agreements and the security implications of Congress's decision to support or reject the deal. This event will prove to be informative and provocative. Refreshments will be provided. Please join us!

This program is being co-sponsored with MIT Global Zero, MIT's Center for International Studies and MIT's Iranian Studies Group.