ABSTRACT

Saudi Arabia's Nuclear Future [June 2016]   [open pdf - 432KB]

"There is considerable evidence to suggest that in the period 2002-2012 at least, Iran was engaged in a strategy based on nuclear hedging. From 2013 onwards, however, the picture is less clear. A series of developments - the agreement of the interim Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), the election of President Rouhani, and the subsequent comprehensive nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- challenged thinking on Iranian proliferation behaviour and opened up two potential scenarios. On the one hand, Iran may have abandoned hedging and committed to the pursuit of fully reintegrating into the international community. On the other, Iran's success in negotiating partial, but not complete, rollback may represent a more mature phase of hedging. Tehran may have decided that efforts to advance its nuclear latency have reached their limit for now. From this perspective, Iran has retained a low level of latency that, crucially, includes an enrichment capacity. Furthermore, many of the provisions contained in the JCPOA will expire in a decade and Iran will then be free to resume much of its activities. Against this background, this project had two objectives: to generate insights into Saudi Arabia's nuclear intentions and how these have been influenced by an Iran widely perceived to be engaged in a strategy based on nuclear hedging; and to explore the measures that Western powers might adopt to strengthen Saudi Arabia's commitment to nuclear restraint." This document has been added to the Homeland Security Digital Library in agreement with the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) as part of the PASCC collection. Permission to download and/or retrieve this resource has been obtained through PASCC.

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Date:
2016-06
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Public Domain. Downloaded or retrieved via external web link as part of the PASCC collection.
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pdf
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