FAS releases report on Iran's nuclear program

The Federation of American Scientists and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently released a new report to analyze the economic effects of Iran's nuclear program and the policy implications of sanctions against Tehran.

The report, "Iran's Nuclear Odyssey: Costs and Risks," estimates Iran's nuclear program has cost the country more than $100 billion. The Bushehr reactor may be one of the most expensive reactors in the world with an estimated cost of $11 billion.

Ali Vaez and Karim Sadjadpour, the co-authors of the report, detailed the history of the program starting with its inception under the Shah in 1957. Iran has continued to grow its nuclear capabilities in secret and the huge costs of the program have seemingly led to few benefits. Vaez and Sadjadpour report that Iran has a limited supply of uranium, insecure stockpiles of nuclear weapons and a desire to use nuclear energy to revitalize its energy sector, which is struggling as a result of international sanctions.

According to the report, neither military force nor economic sanctions can end the prideful program and a diplomatic solution must be reached to ensure Tehran's nuclear program stay peaceful. Vaez and Sadjadpour also recommend that efforts be made by Washington to clearly state that the U.S. and its allies prefer a peaceful and prosperous Iran to a weakened and isolated Iran. The authors say that nuclear diplomacy and public policy must go hand in hand.