In addition to Mr. Ranney, Jon Miller and I presented our most recent research. Mr. Miller focussed on the pressing topic of Iran’s nuclear program. He stressed that a cogent Iran policy must not provide incentives for Iran to leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT provides opportunities for intrusive observation of nuclear programs. This can include onsite visits and the installation of monitoring equipment. If Iran were to leave the NPT, outside observers would no longer have the legal right to inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities. While Iran has the right to withdraw from the treaty, a move in this direction would contribute to mistrust and possibly lead to outright conflict. Mr. Miller concluded his presentation considering the legality of the Stuxnet cyber attacks and the influence that Israeli nuclear superiority exerts on Iran's nuclear program.
Though I had prepared a statement, I chose to shape my part of the presentation in response to a question posed by a member of the audience. This individual had asked how it is possible to trust arms control regimes when most governments are opaque and tend to guard their weapon programs. Using this as a springboard, I explained that there are many ways that private individuals and groups can monitor weapons programs. In addition to the resources that national verification systems can provide, modern technology has provided non-governmental entities the ability to observe international activities. With Google Maps and inexpensive satellite imagery we can track gulags in North Korea and CIA drone bases in Saudi Arabia. We can also use these same tools to monitor the construction of test sites or spot the results of an explosion. Through utilizing this approach, citizens can not only observe international events, but use evidence to pressure their leaders to act.