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Expert Comments

4 Apr. 2014: Guns or butter? The economics of nuclear construction workforces in Iran and South Carolina

Robert E. Kelley

Iran is facing increasing difficulties completing its IR-40 pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) near the town of Arak. Fortunately, Iran has agreed to suspend most construction work as part of a plan arranged with the EU3+3 negotiators. On the one hand, this means welcome cost savings for the Iranian Government. On the other hand, it could be an emergency for the local population.

Looking beyond the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit

Tariq Rauf

Some 50 heads of state and government are meeting today at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague, the Netherlands, to highlight their commitment to strengthening nuclear security, and to agree on measures to prevent and combat nuclear terrorism.

3 Mar. 2014: Preventing a new division of Europe

Dr Neil John Melvin

The crisis in Ukraine poses the most serious challenge to European security since the end of the cold war, and highlights the urgent need to refashion European security so that it is capable of managing the new environment that has developed in the region. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the only actor capable of bringing the current crisis to an end and of building long-term peace and stability in Ukraine and the wider region.

Reducing risks arising from developments in Ukraine: the role of confidence- and security-building measures

Dr Ian Anthony

The main role of the arms control agreements reached in Europe in the 1990s—along with associated politically binding confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs)—is to ensure predictability in military behaviour and promote confidence that armed forces exist only for legitimate defensive p

18 Feb. 2014: Only a pragmatic approach to Iran’s nuclear programme will yield results

Tariq Rauf

Following the November 2013 agreement in Geneva on initial measures to address Iran’s nuclear programme, negotiations begin in Vienna today on additional steps towards a comprehensive solution. In order for these negotiations to succeed, both sides will need to agree on pragmatic measures which assure the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, and which lead to the removal of all United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran.

6 Feb. 2014: Sochi Olympics will leave a questionable legacy for Caucasus conflicts

Dr Neil John Melvin


The 22nd Olympic Winter Games in Sochi have already attracted a deluge of international press coverage. The January attacks in Volgograd and reports of possible 'black widow' suicide bombers have brought the issue of terrorism and the security of the Games into focus. The Russian security authorities have established an unprecedented security and surveillance operation, with over 40 000 police and armed forces personnel involved in securing the Games. While every step is being taken to isolate participants from violence, the Games themselves have already become part of the region’s conflicts, writes SIPRI’s Neil Melvin.

11 Nov. 2013: Time for a more comprehensive approach to the Iran nuclear negotiations

Shannon N. Kile

The latest round of negotiations in Geneva between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (the 'P5+1' states) once again failed to reach an agreement on interim steps toward resolving the long-running controversy over the future of Iran's nuclear p

11 Oct. 2013: Award of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

SIPRI Director Professor Tilman Brück comments:

SIPRI warmly welcomes the award of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW, an organization closely aligned with the aims and work of SIPRI. The world is a safer and more peaceful place as a result of the work of the OPCW.

1 Oct. 2013: Iranian–US engagement should focus on more than the nuclear issue

Dr Bruce Koepke


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s appearance at the UN General Assembly last week, his historic telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama and the earlier meeting between the Iranian and US foreign ministers confirm the two countries’ efforts to seriously re-engage in dialogue on Iran's nuclear programme. However, the two countries should not ignore the other issues on which they can fruitfully cooperate, writes SIPRI’s Bruce Koepke.

11 Sep. 2013: Disarming Syria: An opportunity for Russian leadership


In comparison to the discussion about how the United States might, or might not, respond to allegations that the regime of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians on 21 August, there has been relatively little focus on the responsibilities and credibility of other actors. SIPRI's Ian Anthony argues that the current Russian proposal, whereby Syria places its chemical weapons under international control, presents an opportunity for Russia to demonstrate global leadership.