| by Eva Gudbergsdottir

News Stories

Al Asad Air Base Jan 8 2020
Image of Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on January 8, 2020 from Planet Labs with annotation from experts at the Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

The new decade has brought increased tensions in the Middle East, and with it, high media demand for experts at the Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation (CNS).

Within hours of Iran retaliating for the U.S. assassination of Iranian Major General Soleimani by firing ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq, Professor Jeffrey Lewis, director of the CNS East Asia Nonproliferation Program and CNS Senior Research Associate David Schmerler MANPTS ’15 had processed and analyzed satellite images from Planet Labs showing the damage. The following days, they and other CNS experts such as Fabian Hinz, Joshua Pollack, Michael Duitsman MANPTS ’15, Nikolai Sokov, Miles Pomper, and Margaret Croy MANPTS ’18, shared their expertise and observations with national and international media; on the attacks, the future of the Iranian nuclear deal, and the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane shortly after take-off from Tehran airport.

Following are links to some of the media coverage in recent days:

January 10, 2020: “Donald Trump Calls on Allies to Leave Iran Nuclear Deal, but they Still Want to Save it” Fabian Hinz in Newsweek

January 10, 2020: “What is SA-15, the air defense system that may have shot down a Ukrainian plane?” Michael Duitsman in the Washington Post

January 9, 2020: “Iran’s Missile Strike ‘More Accurate Than Expected’ Says Analyst,” Dave Schmerler in Radio Farda

January 9, 2020: “Experts: Iran’s Attacks on US Assets Could Encourage N. Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions,” Joshua Pollack in Voice of America

January 9, 2020: “Explainer: Missile system suspected of bringing down airliner: short range, fast and deadly,” Michael Duitsman in Reuters

January 9, 2020: “Fact Check: President Donald Trump’s address on Iranian attack,” Fabian Hinz on CBS 2 News

January 9, 2020: “No, the Clintons and Obama didn’t give nukes and uranium to North Korea, Iran and Russia,” Joshua Pollack and Jeffrey Lewis in Politifact

January 9, 2020: “Analysis: Trump backs away from war with Iran but it’s not over,” Fabian Hinz in USA Today

January 9, 2020: “Iran conducted precision strike on targets in Iraq,” Margaret Croy in NHK World

January 9, 2020: “If Trump Decides To Start A Nuclear War, No One Can (Legally) Stop Him – Op Ed,” Jeffrey Lewis in Eurasia Review

January 8, 2020: “Maps: How the Confrontation Between the U.S. and Iran Escalated,” Jeffrey Lewis and Dave Schmerler in the New York Times

January 8, 2020: “Experts Scoff At Trump’s Explosive Claim That Obama Paid For Iran’s Missile Strike,” Fabian Hinz and Jeffrey Lewis in Talking Points Memo

January 8, 2020: “Satellite Photos Reveal Extent Of Damage from Iranian Strike On Air Base In Iraq,” Dave Schmerler and Fabian Hinz on NPR

January 7, 2020: “Romania’s Aegis Ashore Is Now Online and Can Shoot Down Enemy Missiles,”  Jeffrey Lewis in the National Interest

January 7, 2020: “Trump’s unpredictability is making nuclear-nonproliferation advocates nervous as the US takes an aggressive posture against Iran,” Jeffrey Lewis in Business Insider

January 7, 2020: “Don’t Worry About Iranian Nukes Anytime Soon, Nuclear Experts Say,” Miles Pomper in Buzzfeed News

January 7, 2020: “Iran Keeps Nuclear Deal In Force Despite Rolling Back Key Commitments,” Nikolai Sokov in Sputnik News

January 7, 2020: “How a ‘quantum change’ in missiles has made Iran a far more dangerous foe,” Fabian Hinz in the Washington Post

January 6, 2020: “How Close Is Iran to a Nuclear Weapon? Here’s What We Know,” Miles Pomper in Wired


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Eva Gudbergsdottir