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Analysis & Commentary - Olli Heinonen

Olli Heinonen's Latest Articles

21st May 2018 – Co-authored by Brig. Gen. (Res.) Prof. Jacob Nagel - FDD Research Memo

Deal or No Deal, The IAEA Must Monitor Iran’s Nuclear Program

Olli Heinonen

Although the United States is withdrawing from the nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) retains both the right and the obligation to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. more...

4th April 2018 – FDD Research

The IAEA’s Right and Obligation to Inspect Military Facilities in Iran

Olli Heinonen

In order for the nuclear deal with Iran to ensure the “exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must be able to inspect all necessary locations either in the territory of Iran or under its control elsewhere, including all military sites.[1] more...

14th September 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

IAEA Inspections in Iran under the JCPOA

Olli Heinonen

The IAEA remains an important organization dedicated to preventing nuclear proliferation. Leveraging its inspectorate’s unique authority to access people, places, and facilities will be indispensable to the full and meaningful implementation of the JCPOA. more...

31st August 2017 – FDD Research Memo

Verifying Section T of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Olli Heinonen

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made at best a general statement in its last quarterly reporting (spring 2017) about its monitoring and verification of Section T, annex 1 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This innovative, key section closes a loophole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), explicitly banning Iran from undertaking certain nuclear weapons development activities and controlling dual-use equipment potentially usable in such activities. more...

18th August 2017 – Institute for Science and International Security

Revisiting Parchin

Olli Heinonen

Fear of derailing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and facing political pressure led the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the summer of 2015 to negotiate a problematic arrangement with Iran regarding nuclear weapons development activities at a site at the Parchin military complex. more...

14th June 2017 – FDD Memo

Drawing a “Broader Conclusion” on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Olli Heinonen

Under the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), key restrictions would expire if the IAEA formally reaches a “broader conclusion” that Tehran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. Such a conclusion would result in the lifting of the UN’s remaining non-nuclear sanctions, including the ban on ballistic missile testing and the conventional arms embargo. more...

30th May 2017 – Institute for Science and International Security

Is Iran Mass Producing Advanced Gas Centrifuge Components?

Olli Heinonen

The head of Iran’s nuclear program says Iran has the capability to initiate mass production of advanced centrifuges on short notice. The mass production of these centrifuges (or their components) would greatly expand Iran’s ability to sneak-out or breakout to nuclear weapons capability or surge the size of its centrifuge program if the deal fails or after key nuclear limitations end. more...

29th May 2017 – Briefing at the Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-Proliferation

State of Play and Future of the Multilateral Non-proliferation Regimes and Initiatives

Olli Heinonen

The last couple of years have seen mixed progress in non-proliferation, arms control, and disarmament. On the positive side, we can applaud the Ministerial-level Nuclear Security conference in December 2016 and actions emanating from that. more...

8th February 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s missile tests reveal weaknesses of UN Security Council Resolution

Olli Heinonen

Iran’s latest missile test on January 29 received a swift response, as warranted. The United Nations Security Council called for an emergency session, and on February 2, the U.S. Treasury imposed new sanctions on persons and entities involved with Tehran’s ballistic missile program. Iran responded equally swiftly. more...

26th January 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Ensuring Iran’s Enrichment R&D is for Peaceful Purposes

Olli Heinonen

Iran announced last week that it would start feeding its first IR-8 centrifuges with uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6). The 2015 Iran nuclear deal states that Tehran’s breakout time (the time needed to enrich uranium enough for a nuclear bomb) is one year, but that is based on Iran only using the first-generation, less-efficient IR-1 centrifuges. more...

10th January 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

Olli Heinonen

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. more...

23rd December 2016 – FDD Research Memo

Iranian Moves Offer Opportunity to Improve JCPOA

Olli Heinonen

Congress extended the Iran Sanctions Act earlier this month, prompting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to order retaliatory steps. Tehran protested to the EU, claiming the extension is a violation of last summer’s nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA – and requesting a meeting of the joint committee established to settle disputes over the deal’s implementation. more...

28th November 2016 – FDD Research Memo

Concerns about a Reduction of Transparency in IAEA Reporting on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Concerns about a Reduction of Transparency  in IAEA Reporting on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Olli Heinonen

While the U.S. administration maintains that Iran has thus far complied with the nuclear deal, the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report indicates that for the second time, Iran has exceeded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) limit for its inventory of heavy water. more...

18th September 2016 – The Cipher Brief

Don’t Rely on Iran’s Good Intentions

Olli Heinonen

There is a small window of time for the United States and its allies to determine what kind of nuclear technologies are delivered to Tehran, and by whom. And the clock is already ticking. more...

29th July 2016 – FDD Research

Iran’s Breakout Time Drops Below Administration Benchmarks

Olli Heinonen

Iran plans to manufacture and install additional advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility in about 10 years, substantially boosting the country’s uranium-enrichment capability, according to a confidential document leaked last week by the Associated Press. more...

1st July 2016 – FDD Research

Uranium Particles at Parchin Indicate Possible Undeclared Iranian Nuclear Activities

Olli Heinonen

On December 2, 2015, the IAEA issued its assessment on past and present outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear program and its Possible Military Dimensions (PMD). more...

27th June 2016 – FDD Research

EU-Iran Nuclear Cooperation: The Case for Stronger Safety and Nonproliferation Standards

Olli Heinonen

The constraints imposed on Iran’s activities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) curb Tehran’s nuclear program for eight to 15 years. The key restrictions on the program, however, disappear over time, leaving Tehran with an industrial-size nuclear program with near-zero nuclear breakout time and an easier, advance-centrifuge-powered clandestine “sneak out” time. more...

27th June 2016 – FDD Research

Legitimizing Iran’s Nuclear Program with a Broader Conclusion

Olli Heinonen

This January, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) embarked on the difficult road towards Transition Day – October 18, 2023, or earlier if the IAEA can reach a Broader Conclusion that all of Iran’s nuclear materials and facilities are for peaceful purposes and it is not engaged in any undeclared nuclear activities. There are several incentives for Iran to try to reach Transition Day long before the eight-year mark. more...

28th April 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

IAEA Takes a Light Touch on Iran’s Heavy Water

Olli Heinonen

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the international community limits Tehran’s heavy water inventory to no more than 130 metric tons for the current Arak reactor before reconfiguration to a smaller capacity. more...

4th March 2016 – FDD Research

The IAEA’s Latest Report Falls Short

Olli Heinonen

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued its first report last week since implementation in January of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal. more...