South Asia Center

  • The Iran Nuclear Deal’s Accidental Achievement

    US President Donald J. Trump delivered on his campaign promise and finally withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal; a giant question mark looms.

    When the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was agreed in July 2015, the priority for the P5+1 was to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The United States also hoped to eventually see reforms in Iran. For Iran, the priority was the lifting of sanctions.

    How far back the deal set Iran’s nuclear weapons program is up for debate. Critics of the deal argue that, not only did the JCPOA fail to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons, but it freed up more cash for nefarious activities in the region vis-à-vis Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Iran defends its activities in these states as ...

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  • The Iran Deal Without America

    In the aftermath of the US announcement that it was quitting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the other signatories are struggling to convince Iran to remain within the agreement.

    European officials have been particularly outspoken, reflecting anger at a potentially fatal blow to a signature diplomatic achievement that touches their core security concerns. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, addressed the press before the start of a European Union summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, by saying, “We are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration…. [President Donald Trump] has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.” 

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  • The US-India Defense Partnership: Trending Upward

    In August 2017, US President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a bill designed in part to sanction countries doing business with Russia’s defense industry. Like some other US partners, India is at risk of CAATSA sanctions because the bulk of its defense inventory is from the former Soviet Union and it maintains substantial defense ties with Russia.

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  • Slavin in The American Conservative: Europe’s Counterpunch to America Over the Iran Deal


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  • Slavin Quoted in Bustle on Trump's Lack of Diversity within His Cabinet


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  • Cunningham Joins Fox to Discuss Trump’s Decision to Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem


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  • Concern and Uncertainty After Iran Deal Exit

    On May 8, 2018, President Donald J. Trump announced the United States would re-impose sanctions on Iran and withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

    On May 9, the Middle East Security Initiative (MSI) in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security convened a panel of experts for a conference call conversation assessing the implications of President Trump’s decision. Rachel Brandenburg, MSI Director, moderated the discussion, which featured senior fellows Amir Handjani and David Mortlock, board director Dov Zakheim, Future of Iran Initiative Director Barbara Slavin, and Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director for Foreign Policy and Senior Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

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  • Slavin in The Hill: As America Withdraws from Iran Deal, Can Rest of World Save It?


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  • Slavin Quoted in Haaretz on Enforcing Sanctions on India, China and Europe


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  • Europeans Seek to Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal

    The European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal are seeking ways to soften the bite of US sanctions on companies doing business in the Islamic Republic, David O’Sullivan, the European Union’s ambassador to the United States, said at the Atlantic Council on May 14.

    Though upset by US President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal, the European signatories are committed to the agreement. “The European Union (EU) will maintain its commitment to the nuclear deal, as long as Iran does the same,” said O’Sullivan. “We Europeans believe that we are bound by our commitment if we want Iran to stay in the deal,” he added. 

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