Nuclear Policy News - Monday, July 26

Jul 26, 2010

 

Nuclear Policy News – July 26, 2010
 
FISSILE MATERIAL
U.S., South Korea start military drills as North protests

Reuters by Jack Kim
 
Iran agrees to nuclear talks under threat of EU sanctions
Deutsche Welle by David Levitz (AFP)
 
Israel, U.S. sign deal to upgrade Arrow missile shield
Reuters by Dan Williams
 
U.S. to Object to Pakistan-China Nuclear Deal
 
The START debate
 
EAST ASIA
U.S., South Korea start military drills as North protests
Reuters by Jack Kim
The U.S. and South Korean militaries kicked off large exercises on Sunday to underscore deterrence against North Korea after accusing the reclusive communist state of sinking a warship.
 
US holds drills off Korea as Pyongyang talks war
U.S. and South Korean warships and helicopters practiced anti-submarine maneuvers off the Korean peninsula Monday, readying defenses against the kind of weapon that allegedly sank a South Korean navy vessel earlier this year.
 
Asia on edge after North Korea nuke threat
South Korea said the border with North Korea was quiet following Pyongyang's nuclear saber-rattling over the South's naval exercises with the United States.
 
U.S. to blacklist Pyongyang firms
Asahi Shimbun by Tetsuya Hakoda
The United States plans to release a blacklist of North Korean companies and individuals believed to be involved in transactions of weapons of mass destruction and luxury items as part of new sanctions on Pyongyang in the wake of the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan.

 

MIDDLE EAST
Iran agrees to nuclear talks under threat of EU sanctions
Deutsche Welle by David Levitz (AFP)
Iran, under pressure from proposed European Union sanctions, agreed Sunday to reopen discussions with Western powers concerning a nuclear swap deal it signed in May.
 
Iran says nuclear talks after Ramadan
Reuters by Simon Cameron-Moore
Iran will be ready to hold negotiations with world powers on its nuclear programme after the month of Ramadan ends in early September, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday.
 
Iranian Negotiator Agrees to Meet With European Diplomat
NYT by Sebnem Arsu
In an apparent effort to garner international support for its nuclear program, Iran has agreed to meet with the European Union’s foreign affairs chief in early September, after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
 
Iran will react if ships inspected - Ahmadinejad
Reuters by Hashem Kalantari
Iran will react swiftly if its commercial shipping or aviation are subjected to inspection, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday.
 
Iran to submit letter to IAEA
Iran will submit another letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday, briefing the latest developments with the uranium swap agreement, Turkish foreign minister said here on Sunday.
 
Turkey, Iran, Brazil to discuss nuclear swap deal
Reuters by Tulay Karadeniz and Parisa Hafezi
The foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey and Brazil are to meet in Istanbul on Sunday to discuss the nuclear swap deal which they agreed in May, a Turkish foreign ministry official told Reuters on Saturday.
 
Iran's President Ahmadinejad warns EU against sanctions
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned the European Union against imposing sanctions, saying his country would cause it to "regret" the move.
 
'US more likely to attack Iran'
A US military strike on Iran has become more likely and could be justifiable in the future, former CIA chief Michael Hayden said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
 
Iran plans to build nuclear fusion reactor
Yahoo! News by Hashem Kalantari (Reuters)
Iran said on Saturday it planned to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, state television reported, at a time when the West is demanding that Tehran suspend sensitive nuclear work.
 
Mossad chief reportedly visited Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran
Ha'aretz by Anshel Pfeffer
Mossad chief Meir Dagan visited Saudi Arabia recently, if unofficial reports published over the weekend on the WorldNetDaily website are accurate. The Internet news site attributed the story to Arab sources.

 

Covert Action Suspected in Iranian Nuclear Troubles
Iran's uranium enrichment work has encountered a number of technical difficulties in the last year, prompting experts to speculate over what role clandestine interference might have played in the troubles, the Financial Times reported yesterday.
 
Israel, U.S. sign deal to upgrade Arrow missile shield
Reuters by Dan Williams
Israel and the United States have signed an agreement to make the Arrow II ballistic shield capable of shooting down missiles at a higher altitude, the Israeli Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
 
SOUTH/SOUTHEAST ASIA
U.S. to Object to Pakistan-China Nuclear Deal
The United States intends to vote against the planned Chinese atomic reactor sale to Pakistan in the international export control group that monitors nuclear commerce, a senior State Department official told lawmakers yesterday.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
Russia plans to upgrade 3 nuclear-powered cruisers by 2020
Russia will upgrade and put on active duty three mothballed Soviet-era nuclear-powered missile cruisers by 2020, a high-ranking Navy official told RIA Novosti on Saturday.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
Obama Jockeys for Republican Backing on "New START"
The Obama administration recently urged supportive U.S. lawmakers to back new missile defense assurances and billions of dollars in nuclear weapons complex funding to help lock down Republican support for a pact to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the New York Times reported yesterday.
 
U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS STRATEGY AND POLICY
Senators Oppose Looming Bioshield Funding Cuts
Three U.S. senators this week led the charge against a move to cut as much as $2 billion from the coffers of a program intended to promote development of countermeasures to biological agents and other WMD materials.
 
Pentagon Report Questions Military's Nuclear Survivability
Even a small nuclear conflict could seriously undermine U.S. military capabilities by harming communication systems on which the armed forces increasingly depend to carry out operations, a Defense Department panel warned in a June report.
 
OPINIONS
Is nothing sacred? Playing politics with nuclear arms reduction
Washington Post by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite (Newsweek)
Faith communities have been nearly unanimous for decades about the moral imperative to reduce the nuclear weapons arsenals of the world, and the threat they represent to world peace and even the future of life on earth…And now, when the United States has a chance to ratify the new START treaty that President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed in April, a treaty that would require the U.S. and Russia to reduce their nuclear weapons deployment, conservatives are starting to play political games to delay or even deter ratification.
 
IAEA/OECD Red Book
Arms Control Wonk by Jeffrey Lewis
According to the IAEA website, the IAEA and OECD will release Uranium 2009: Resources, Production and Demand — the “Red Book” — tomorrow with a press conference.
 
The START debate

The new nuclear weapons treaty with Russia under consideration by the Senate is a modest achievement for arms control…Still, ratification of the accord will ensure that inspections of Russian weapons continue; the regime established by the previous START treaty lapsed last year. It will also provide the United States some credibility as it seeks to persuade Russia and other key nations around the world to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons to Iran and other states.