Policy discussions about the appropriate role of nuclear weapons in national defense strategies are becoming all the more vital in light of global security developments, such as ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and its negotiating partners and the evolving nuclear dimension of NATO’s security posture toward Russia. In this podcast, Tong Zhao and Matthew Kroenig discuss U.S. policy options in the event that nuclear negotiations with Iran fall through and the future outlook of NATO nuclear posture in Europe.

Kroenig maintained his position that the April 2015 framework agreement with Iran is a poor outcome for Washington because it would allow Iran to retain its enrichment capacity and leaves the door open to future proliferation by Iran and other regional actors. He asserted that the United States should a wide range of policy options to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear capabilities, including military action. Zhao and Kroenig also discussed the potential consequences of the United States adopting a more assertive nuclear posture vis-à-vis Russia and the precedent that such a policy shift could introduce to the Asia-Pacific security landscape.

Matthew Kroenig

Matthew Kroenig is an associate professor and international relations field chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a senior fellow in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at The Atlantic Council.

Tong Zhao

Tong Zhao is an associate in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program based at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. His research focuses on strategic security issues, including nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, missile defense, strategic stability, and China’s security and foreign policy.