Accueil > Simulation Workshop: The Iranian Nuclear Issue


Type d'enseignement : Lecture and tutorials

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

On July 14, 2015, after thirteen years of tense negotiations, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany finally reached an agreement with Iran putting under control the development of its nuclear program. But this is not the end of the story. The implementation of this agreement, which started on January 2016, will extend over a period of about fifteen years. It has raised new kinds of difficulties, and is indeed marred by serious uncertainties. The course will first explore the basics of nuclear proliferation, as well as the intricacies of Iranian history and institutions. It will then focus on the process leading to the July 2015 Agreement and examine the content and implications of this complex document. Finally, it will analyze the elements playing in favor of, or against, the durability of the Agreement. During the course, students will have to impersonate such players as Congressional junior staffers, members of the Iranian parliament, nuclear inspectors to be sent to Iran, or freshly-recruited British diplomats. Simulations of interaction between the parties to the agreement will be introduced at different points of the course, around two main scenarios of crisis.


  • ATARIM, Eren N. (Etudiant)
  • MAURUS ROULLIER, Elsa (Cantatrice, Conservatoire municipal de musique - Mairie de Paris)
  • NICOULLAUD, François (Conseiller Diplomatique du Gouvernement)
  • PATA, Hervé (Directeur)

Pedagogical format

This course has been labelled as a "PSIA pedagogically-innovative course": Three simulations to practice the oral speaking skills, negotiation skills and knowledge of the course on Iranian nuclea issue ; Course taught in partnership with FORRCAST for the negotiation and public speaking workshops ; Use of the digital platform Moddle. This course is made up of several formats: all-class seminars, small-group workshops, practical exercices. With the core course on the Iranian nuclear issue and the training in vocal art, students will meet once or twice a week, and will gather on three Saturdays for simulation exercises in February and April. Students will have to familiarize themselves with the digital platform Moodle (, which will be extensively used for the core course.

Course validation

The course will focus on bringing all the participants to the highest level of comprehension and interaction. The students will be evaluated on their involvement, the quality of their research, their capacity of projecting their views in writing as well as in public speech. Progress achieved in oral and written expression will be the key element for the comprehensive rating of the students, which will take the form of a mark out of 20, plus a short personal assessment. The grading of the students will take into account in three equal parts : The quality of written assignments (capacity for synthesis, clarity of structure and drafting) ; The quality of oral presentations (quality of data collected, effectiveness in delivery); Overall participation (in the debates following the oral presentations, and during the simulations).


Applicants should be aware that this course is much more time and energy-consuming than an average course (about 32 hours of teachings plus three additional Saturdays for simulation exercises, several written assignments and two multiple-choice questionnaires). Students must be ready to involve themselves heavily in what can be described as an exploratory journey into the worlds of diplomacy, nuclear affairs and cultural divides.

Required reading

  • To get a first flavor of some of the issues addressed in this course, students are encouraged to read beforehand this brief “History of Nuclear Proliferation” (23 pages) :
  • To get a first insight into the contemporary Iranian society, watch the BBC documentary film “Divorce Iranian Style”

Plans de cours et bibliographies