August 2021: The Future of U.S. Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

August 2021: The Future of U.S. Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

Speaker: Kelsey Davenport


   About the Speaker:   

Kelsey Davenport is the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, where she focuses on the nuclear and missile programs in Iran, North Korea, India, and Pakistan and on international efforts to prevent proliferation and nuclear terrorism. She also reports on developments in these areas for Arms Control Today and runs the Arms Control Association’s project assessing the effectiveness of multilateral voluntary initiatives that contribute to nonproliferation efforts.

She is the lead author of the P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert newsletter, which assesses developments related to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, and the North Korea Denuclearization Digest, which tracks efforts to negotiate with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. Kelsey is also the co-author of a series of seven reports assessing the impact of the Nuclear Security Summits on efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism. Kelsey joined the Arms Control Association in August 2011 as a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow.

Kelsey has been quoted in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, Reuters, Christian Science Monitor,Vox, and The Guardian and has provided commentary on NPR, CBC, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News, al-Jazeera, and C-Span. She has published opeds in various outlets, including TIME, Reuters, CNN, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Defense One.

Prior to joining the Arms Control Association, Kelsey worked a think tank in Jerusalem researching Middle East security issues. She holds a masters degree in peace studies from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor of arts summa cum laude in international studies and political science from Butler University.

   Event Review:    

Kelsey Davenport began her talk by stating that the Arms control Association (A.C.A.) has closely followed the 2015 nuclear negotiations with Iran. From a nonproliferation perspective, it seemed like a strong deal, and the A.C.A. supported the implementation of that deal and is currently supporting efforts to restore the agreement. In her lecture, Ms. Davenport divides her remarks into three main categories: 1) Iran’s nuclear history. 2) The 2015 nuclear agreement and what it has accomplished. And 3) The prospect of negotiations with Iran to restore the 2015 nuclear deal and what might be next in September, where nuclear talks are more likely to resume. She reinstated that first talking about Iran’s nuclear history gives context to Iran’s past decisions to pursue nuclear weapons, which can also help us understand why they gave up a weapons program. Understanding that history can be illustrious to understanding Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Kelsey Davenport also detailed the nuclear deal itself – what it accomplished, how it was implemented, and where it stands today. A combination of factors led to the successful negotiations of the agreement as to the sanctions, personalities, Irans changed security calculus all had an impact, which led to nuclear negotiations endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Ms. Davenport also focused her talk on where we are now with negotiations with Iran and the prospects for further discussions to restore the JCPOA and, if those prospects fail, what the United States will do from a policy perspective. Kelsey Davenport concluded the event by answering questions from the audience.

   Program Recording:   

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