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Kittrie chairs roundtable on Iran’s Nuclear Procurement Network

May 31, 2013

Professor Orde Kittrie co-organized, chaired and was a speaker at an April 12 roundtable titled, “Diversion Conduits for Iran's Nuclear and Missile Procurement Network: Middlemen in China and Turkey.” 

The roundtable included an exploration of preliminary findings from Kittrie’s work on a MacArthur Foundation grant titled, “Combating Criminal Involvement in Nuclear Trafficking.” The meeting was co-sponsored by the Washington Program on Nonproliferation Policy and Law, the Institute for Science and International Security, ASU’s McCain Institute for International Leadership, the Federation of American Scientists and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.    

“Iran’s nuclear and missile programs continue to depend on imports, including carbon fiber, maraging steel and pressure transducers,” Kittrie said. “In the recent book, 'U.S. Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing Middle East,' my co-authors and I provide detailed public source information identifying China, Hong Kong and Turkey as the current most problematic procurement and trans-shipment points used by Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.”

The roundtable focused on middlemen in China and Turkey who are known, Kittrie said, to play a central role in such Iranian procurement, with particular reference to several recent egregious cases. The importance of these procurements to the Iranian programs and how the United States and its allies can more effectively detect, deter and disrupt the role of such middlemen were discussed. Participants included officials from Congress and the departments of Defense, Energy, Justice, State and Treasury, in addition to leading experts from Harvard University, the University of Virginia, ASU, King’s College London, George Mason University and several think tanks.

Kittrie is a professor at the College of Law and a non-resident Senior Fellow with ASU’s McCain Institute for International Leadership. He has extensive experience with nuclear nonproliferation issues, having chaired the Nonproliferation, Arms Control & Disarmament interest group of the American Society of International Law from 2008 to 2012, and also testified before committees of the Senate and House on issues relating to nuclear nonproliferation. Kittrie is a former senior attorney for nuclear affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where he negotiated five nuclear nonproliferation agreements between the United States and Russia and helped negotiate at the United Nations' Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.