Nuclear Policy News - March 6, 2012

Mar 6, 2012


No policy shift from new North Korea leader despite nuclear deal
Fresh Iran nuclear talks agreed with world powers - EU
NATO chief expects continued cooperation with Russia after Putin election
Global Insights: U.S.-Russia Arms Control Prospects Under Putin
Richard Weitz
Iran Is the Great Distraction
David Rothkopf



No policy shift from new North Korea leader despite nuclear deal
North Korea's willingness to cut a surprise deal with the United States on the future of its nuclear program does not signal any policy shift by the reclusive state's young new leader, a source with links to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.
China Supports Iran Dialogue, ‘Peaceful’ Nuclear Energy
China says it supports resolving the issue of Iran's nuclear program through dialogue, echoing comments made this week by U.S. President Barack Obama.
North Korea practices with live fire near sea border, protests US-South Korean military drills
North Korean troops brandished weapons given to them by new leader Kim Jong Un as they carried out live-fire drills near the disputed sea boundary with South Korea amid more anger from Pyongyang over joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
Fresh Iran nuclear talks agreed with world powers - EU
Six major world powers and Iran are to hold fresh talks on Tehran's nuclear programme, the EU has said.
Netanyahu in AIPAC speech: Israel cannot afford to wait much longer on Iran
Israel's prime minister warns of the dangers of a nuclear Iran, which he says will provide a 'nuclear umbrella' to terrorists; in earlier meeting, New York Times reports Obama said talk of war is increasing oil prices.
Obama Presses Netanyahu to Resist Strikes on Iran
With Israel warning of a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, President Obama urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday to give diplomacy and economic sanctions a chance to work before resorting to military action.
Turkey calls on Iran to be transparent in nuclear imbroglio
Turkey has called on Iran to be more transparent after Tehran failed to address the West's mounting fears that it is secretly bent on acquiring nuclear weapon capability and demanded the Islamic republic to work in sync with international institutions.
India's top Iranian oil buyer plans to cut imports
India's largest Iranian oil buyer plans almost to halve daily imports, industry sources said on Monday, becoming the latest Asian refiner to cut supplies from Iran as Western sanctions make trade with OPEC's second-largest producer difficult.
Pakistan warns against aggression on Iran
Any aggression against Iran over its nuclear programme will have "disastrous consequences" for the whole region, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has warned.
EU: Western powers, Russia and China offer to resume nuclear talks with Iran
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, who are demanding that Iran freeze all uranium enrichment, said Tuesday they have accepted an offer to resume talks with Tehran on the nuclear issue.
Russia urges swift resumption of Iran nuclear talks
Russia urged global powers on Tuesday to hold new talks with Iran on its nuclear programme as soon as possible, saying Tehran had proved it was ready for serious negotiations.
NATO chief expects continued cooperation with Russia after Putin election
NATO expects continued cooperation with Russia on Afghanistan, counter-piracy and other operations after the election that returned Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency, its top official said Monday.
'ICAN' Discloses Funders and Makers of 20,000 Nuclear Weapons
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a global grassroots organisation, has thrown a virtual bombshell: In a trailblazing report, it reveals the funders and manufacturers of 20,000 nuclear weapons in the possession of nine nuke-armed nations, which have a collective destructive force equivalent to 150,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs.
Possible Nuclear Weapons Cuts Worry Republican Lawmakers
In mid-February, a group of House Republicans sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing “deep concern” about possible future cuts to the strategic nuclear arsenal reportedly being considered by the administration. Some of the options — including two that would at least halve the arsenal’s current size — would by many accounts undermine the rationale for spending billions of dollars on new strategic bombers, missiles and submarines over the next decade.
Global Insights: U.S.-Russia Arms Control Prospects Under Putin
Richard Weitz
This weekend’s election in Russia has unsurprisingly returned Vladimir Putin to the country’s presidency. In contrast to the preordained outcome of the Russian voting, the winner of this November’s U.S. presidential election is not yet known. But whoever occupies the White House in 2013 will need to consider the bilateral arms control relationship with Russia in coming years. And although the implementation of the New START agreement is going well, there are sharp differences in Washington and Moscow over where to go next.
Iran's Secret Nuclear Development Looks a Lot Like Israel's
Micah Zenko
Tehran's nuclear program is following a similar path as did Israel a half-century earlier.
Holes in North Korea nuke deal
Naoko Aoki
Last week's agreement between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program - the first negotiated progress on the issue in four years - has spurred debate about whether the new deal will stick.
Tuppenny Trident?
Jeffrey Lewis
In case you haven’t been watching, some very interesting fissures are now evident in the support for an independent British nuclear deterrent.  This is going to be very interesting
Iran Is the Great Distraction
David Rothkopf
Iran has called America the Great Satan. Israel has called Iran an existential threat. For both the United States and Israel, whose leaders are meeting Monday to discuss how to handle Tehran's nuclear program, Iran should be called the Great Distraction.
Netanyahu Signals Determination on Iran, But War Will Have to Wait
Tony Karon
Had he been speaking Hebrew in a dramatic TV broadcast back home, parts of Benjamin Netanyahu’s fire-and-brimstone speech Tuesday night might have been mistaken for the words of an Israeli prime minister about to launch a fateful war. He painted Iran’s nuclear program as an apocalyptic extermination threat redolent of the Nazi Holocaust, stressed Israel’s power and responsibility to prevent a repeat of the greatest trauma in Jewish history, and vowed that “As Prime Minister of Israel, I will never let my people live under the shadow of annihilation”.