• Jul 30, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    This morning, the Xinhua News Agency and RIA Novosti bothcited reports from the Russian business daily Vedomosti that the Russian government plans large increases in defense spending by 2013. According to RIA Novosti,
     
    Russian defense spending will increase by 60 percent, to more than 2 trillion rubles ($66.3 [billion]) by 2013 from 1.264 trillion ($42 [billion]) in 2010.
     
    The spending will be spread out over three years. The largest increase will occur in 2013, when the budget is expected to jump by 500 billion rubles ($16.6 billion). According to RIA Novosti
     
    Konstantin Makiyenko from the Russian Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) told the paper that the government is likely to spend more on the Navy, as well as the aviation and space industries.
     
    The Russians have planned expensive modernizations in these sectors. and are reported to have allocated funding for a variety of new naval vessels and aircraft. 

  • Jul 30, 2010

     

     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    A report released from the National Research Council (NRC) about U.S. nuclear forensics capabilities makes several recommendations for improving domestic forensics programs. The initial classified NRC report was published in January. The unclassified version, released yesterday, lists several areas of concern, including program organization, sustainability, infrastructure, and procedures. As part of the report’s executive summary, several recommendations were offered for DHS, national laboratories, and the nuclear forensics community to sustain and improve their procedures. It stated
     
    The United States has developed a nuclear forensics capability that has been demonstrated in real-world incidents of interdicted materials and in exercises of actions required after a nuclear detonation. The committee, however, has concerns about the program and finds that without strong leadership, careful planning, and additional funds, these capabilities will decline.
     
  • Jul 30, 2010

     

     
    By Oliver Bloom
     
    In a positive sign for New START, reports emerged earlier this week that Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) is leaning towards voting in favor of New START ratification. In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Senator Bennett told the paper that
     
    We are now at a point where I think this is probably a good idea. I think it is a step in the right direction, a continuation of the thawing, if you will, of relationships between the United States and Russia that goes all the way back to Ronald Reagan.
     
    Bennett says he is waiting to officially announce his support for the Treaty until after Senator Jon Kyl, one of the key GOP Senators on the issue, finishes his review. Senator Bennett told The Cable on Tuesday that
     
                I'm waiting for Senator Kyl to finish his analysis, but he's leaning yes and I'm leaning yes.
     
  • Jul 30, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 30, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    China says it opposes EU sanctions against Iran
     
    Iran: Talks on nuclear swap deal should be held in Turkey
     
    Russia to increase defense spending by 60 percent
     
    Nuclear Forensics Skill Is Declining in U.S., Report Says
    NY Times by William Broad
  • Jul 29, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 29, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    Iran Offers to Resume Nuclear Talks, Rein In Enrichment
    WSJ by Marc Champion and Jay Solomon
     
    Israel to Dispatch Nuclear-Armed Subs, Report Says
     
    U.K. to Permit Nuclear Exports to India
     
    Brits Advised to Rethink Nuclear Deterrence Policy
     
    Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater
    Arms Control Wonk by Jeffrey Lewis
  • Jul 28, 2010

     

     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    The U.S. Department of State released today its 2010 Treaty Compliance Report, which details international adherence to arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements. Today’s release was greeted with more than the standard amount of discussion because of the report’s description of Russian non-compliance with some aspects of START I. Despite a scheduled Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote on New START next Tuesday, there are worries that Republicans may use the State Department’s report as a means to delay the treaty’s Senate vote until after mid-term elections.
     
  • Jul 28, 2010

     

    By Mark Jansson and Anna Newby
     
    Last week, PONI held its summer conference at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A variety of topics were discussed, ranging from UN Resolution 1540 to Iran’s nuclear program to the future of U.S. stockpile stewardship, among others issues. Presenters and participants at the conference, which included both senior experts and young professionals in nuclear fields, generated a wealth of ideas and critical questions.
  • Jul 28, 2010
     
    By Sarah Bulley and Anna Newby
     
    Yesterday the Planetary Security Foundation held their organization’s inaugural public event with a screening of the new documentary, Countdown to Zero, at E Street Cinema. Eric Anderson, founder and executive director of Planetary Security Foundation, opened the screening with a few brief comments about the danger posed by existing nuclear stockpiles, the urgency of contemporary nonproliferation efforts, and the organization’s goal of securing our world’s nuclear materials.
     
  • Jul 28, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    The Royal United Services Institute, a British thinktank, has released a briefing, discussing alternatives to the current Trident renewal plans, already the subject of much controversy within the British Government. Written by Professor Malcolm Chalmers, the report explains what while
     
    The Government is committed to maintaining an effective nuclear deterrent…the severe costs that Trident renewal could require… [make] a strong case for a re-examination of whether alternatives to current CASD [Continuous-At-Sea-Deterrence] policy could yield significant financial savings while continuing to meet this agreed objective. The fiscal situation facing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is significantly worse than was assumed in 2006, when current renewal plans were drawn up by the previous government. And awareness of the opportunity costs of Trident renewal has grown as key production decisions draw nearer.
     
    While the current Conservative-led British Government  remains committed to the Trident replacement, Defense Secretary Liam Fox recently spoke of the Government’s willingness to consider alternatives within the Trident replacement program (increasing operational risk, reduce submarines numbers, etc.) as a means to reduce costs. In light of the Government’s commitment, the viability of CASD and the bleak fiscal outlook for Britain, Chalmers offers four possible alternatives that, while still involving a strategic nuclear deterrent, may be less costly but still effective. 
  • Jul 28, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 28, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    Report finds Russians may not be in compliance, could sink new START pact
    Washington Post by Walter Pincus and Mary Beth Sheridan
     
    Iran: U.S. will likely attack 2 Mideast countries within 3 months
     
    Panel Recommends Japan Allow Entry of U.S. Nuclear Weapons, Asahi Reports
    Bloomberg by Sachiko Sakamaki
     
    EU Commits $7M for Monitoring Under CTBT
  • Jul 28, 2010

     

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    One of the many highlights from PONI’s conference as Sandi National Laboratories last week was a lunchtime debate between PONI’s own Chris Jones and John Warden (both experienced college debaters in their own right), debating whether the United States should withdraw its nuclear weapons from Europe. Following the standard debate format, Warden spoke in the affirmative before taking questions from Jones, and then Jones spoke in the negative before taking questions from Warden. PONI Director Clark Murdock questioned both Warden and Jones, and then opened the floor to questions from the audience. Following the questions, Jones and then Warden offered closing remarks. 
     
  • Jul 27, 2010

     

    For those that have not yet seen Countdown to Zero, a documentary about the dangers posed by nuclear arms that appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, and even those that have, the invitation is open to join the Planetary Security Foundation (along with former Astronauts Greg Olsen and the first Iranian-born astronaut, Ms. Anousheh Ansari) TODAY for a private screening.
  • Jul 27, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    In the wake of recent debate regarding the verification measures in New START, the United States Institute of Peace held a panel discussion with Rose Gottemoeller on the verification measures in the New START Agreement. Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance and Implementation was joined by Greg Thielmann, Senior Fellow at the Arms Control Association, Amy Woolf, Specialist in National Defense in the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service, and moderator Col. Paul Hughes, USA (Ret.), senior program officer with the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace. Rose Gottemoeller, Amy Woolf and Greg Thielmann each offered their thoughts on the verification measures in New START before opening the floor to a lively and engaging series of questions from the audience.
     
  • Jul 27, 2010
     
     
     By Anna Newby
     

    If Israel strikes Iran’s nuclear program, the attack would be, arguably, highly-anticipated. In recent weeks, Israel’s consideration of a military option against Iran has been widely discussed in policy and academic circles.

  • Jul 27, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 27, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    Europe Imposes New Sanctions on Iran
    NY Times by Stephen Castle
     
    U.S. to Cover Cost of Israeli Antimissile System
     
    NATO Missile Shield to be Ready by Year's End
     
    Debate on "New START" Seen Dragging Past August
     
    How likely is an American attack on Iran?
    Xinhua by David Harris
  • Jul 26, 2010
     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    Questions over Burma’s nuclear weapons program and human rights conditions arose at last week’s meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in addition to foreign ministers from the region, has questioned suspected nuclear collaboration between North Korea and Burma, also known as Myanmar. The ASEAN summit followed the publication of a new report on Burma’s illicit nuclear weapons program published in Jane’s Intelligence Review. 
     
  • Jul 26, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    Even as domestic and international controversy rages on U.S. missile defense plans and its aims, we should not forget that the United States is hardly alone in pursuing the development of national missile defense. Kyodo News International reported today that
     
    India test-fired on Monday a ballistic interceptor missile off the Orissa coast and it successfully destroyed a ballistic missile, officials said.
     
    According to the news report,
     
    the interceptor was fired from Wheeler Island in eastern India and destroyed a modified Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile fired from Chandipur in the same state.
     
    The interceptor missile hit the target missile at an altitude of 15 kilometers, the Press Trust of India news agency said, quoting S.P. Dash, head of the Integrated Test Range off Orissa coast.
     
    India plans to deploy a missile defense shield by 2012 after the completion of a series of trials, according to the organization.
     
  • 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
     
  • Jul 22, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 21, 2010

    FISSILE MATERIAL
    US announces new sanctions against North Korea
    AP by Matthew Lee
     
    EU Prepares More Penalties Against Iran
     
    MI5 Thought Hussein Would Launch WMD as Last Resort
     
    U.S.: Russian cheating on START is insignificant
    The Washington Times by Bill Gertz
  • Jul 20, 2010
     
     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    The United States and South Korea announced today their plan to hold joint military exercises “designed to send a strong, clear message to North Korea to stop its provocative and warlike acts.” Approximately 8,000 U.S. and South Korean troops will participate in the drills, scheduled to take place in both the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan beginning next week.
     
    According to the New York Times, the exercises themselves will be carried out on a large scale
     
    The first of the exercises, to be conducted from Sunday to Wednesday in the Sea of Japan, are to include an American aircraft carrier — the nuclear-powered George Washington, one of the largest warships in the world — and 20 ships and submarines, and 100 aircraft, involving 8,000 men and women from the American and South Korean armed services.
     
  • Jul 19, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    Over the past weekend, AFP reported that the South Korean state-run Agency for Defense Development
     
    has begun manufacturing the ground-to-ground Hyunmu-3C with a range of up to 1,500 kilometres (937 miles), Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified defence official as saying.
     
    The Hyunmu-3C missile would also be able to reach parts of China, Japan and Russia. The previous version of the Hyunmu had a range of only 1,000 km.
     
    According to the Korea Herald,
     
    The missile with a 450-kilogram warhead measures 6 meters in length and 53-60 centimeters in diameter and weighs 1.5 tons. It can hit targets in all nuclear facilities and major missile bases in the communist state with high precision, experts said.
     
    "With the range of 1,500 kilometers, the missile can practically attack all areas in the North. The missile, guided with the help of the global positioning system, can accurately hit the target with a margin of error of less than 2 meters,” said Shin In-kyun, a military expert who heads a civic group, called Korea Defence Network.
     
  • Jul 16, 2010

     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held the last public hearing on New START. As part of the hearing, called to gather testimony on the maintenance of a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal, the directors of the three national nuclear laboratories were invited to speak. Dr. Michael Anastasio, Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dr. George Miller, Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and Dr. Paul Hommert, Director of Sandia National Laboratories gave testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee.
     
  • Jul 16, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    Reports emerged yesterday that the Russian government will go ahead with tests of the Bulava missile in August. This comes after early reports in May suggested that the Bulava tests would not resume until the fall. The RSM-6 Bulava is the submarine-launched version of the Russian Topol-M ICBM, though lighter and more sophisticated, and is estimated to have a range between 8,000 and 10,000 km and be able to carry between six and ten MIRVs. The missiles are to be deployed on the Borei-class submarines, the first of which was launched in 2008. The Bulava has had quite a checkered history, of its twelve previous tests, between seven have ended in failure, including five of the last six. In spite of the test failures (most recently in December), the Russian government has defended the program and pledged to go ahead with further testing. As GSN explains:
     
    Russia's armed forces have continued defending the weapon as an irreplaceable component of the country's future nuclear deterrent.
     
  • Jul 16, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 16, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    N.Korea tests US 'strategic' patience
    AFP by Shaun Tandon
     
    Poll: Most Americans would back Israel attack on Iran
    Ha'aretz by Shlomo Shamir
     
    Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua Announce Support for Iran's Nuclear Program
    Pravda by Renata Giraldi
     
    Biggest Names in Music Urge Fans to See New Film Countdown to Zero and Join the Movement to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons and Ratify New START Treaty
     
    Nuclear Weapons Laboratories Say `Fiscal Realities' Weigh on U.S. Arsenal
    Bloomberg by Viola Gienger
  • Jul 15, 2010

     By Oliver Bloom

     

    At Chatham House on Tuesday, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox offered new insight into the current government’s plans for the future of the British nuclear deterrent (a subject which has been up for debate for years but took on new importance in the wake of the recent British elections and Britain’s fiscal austerity measures). In his prepared remarks, Fox reiterated his Government’s belief that
     
    nuclear deterrent is of course fundamental to our ability to deter the most destructive forms of aggression
     
    and therefore
     
                the current policy of maintaining the UK’s essential minimum deterrent remains unchanged.
     
    Fox acknowledged the cost concerns about the Trident successor program, but argued that the estimates of £20bn over ten years would be a tiny fraction of the British Governments £650bn annual budget, making any Trident successor program a “pretty good value.” Nevertheless, Fox reiterated his government’s plans to scrutinize the programs costs and ensure value for money, plans to include
     
    whether this policy can be met while reducing the cost of the successor submarine and ballistic missile systems, including by shifting the balance between financial savings and operational risk.
     
    This work will cover the programme timetable; submarine numbers; numbers of missiles, missile tubes and warheads; infrastructure and other support costs; and the industrial supply chain.
     
  • Jul 15, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 15, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    U.N., North Korea hold talks over sinking
     
    U.S. paid Iranian nuclear scientist $5 million for aid to CIA, officials say
    Washington Post by Greg Miller and Thomas Erdbrink
     
    Israel attack wouldn't stop Iran nuclear program, says U.K. study
    Ha'aretz by Reuters
     
    U.K. Could Reduce Nuclear Deterrent, Defense Secretary Says
     
    Obama plan outlines reductions in U.S. nuclear arsenal
    Washington Post by Walter Pincus
  • Jul 14, 2010
     
     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    South Korea is seeking to amend an agreement with the United States that prevents it from reprocessing uranium used in its domestic nuclear energy program. South Korea, which relies heavily on nuclear energy, is running low on space to store spent nuclear fuel rods. Some policymakers in the U.S. fear that the South’s reprocessing activities could produce plutonium to be used in a nuclear warhead.
     
  • Jul 14, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    Even as the United States moves ahead with missile defense programs of its own, the Russian Federation doesn’t plan on being left behind. The official Russian International News Agency reported that Air Force Commander Colonel General Alexander Zelin announced yesterday that Russia plans to purchase new S-500 anti-aircraft missile systems by 2020. 
     
  • Jul 14, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have published the twounclassified portions (Annex A – FY 2011 Stockpile Stewardship Plan and Annex D – FY 2011 – The Biennial Plan and Budget Assessment on the Modernization and Refurbishment of the Nuclear Security Complex), as well at the plan’s summary section, of the Obama Administration’s FY 2011 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP). Taken together, the three documents are more than 350 pages long, and provide detailed insight into the Obama Administration’s twin disarmament and deterrence objectives.  The unclassified sections, written by the National Nuclear Security Administration, detail, as the Federation of American Scientists describe in their press release, that
     
    the Obama administration is planning to cut the U.S. nuclear arsenal by as much as 40 percent by 2021, but also wants to spend nearly $175 billion over the next twenty years to build new facilities and to maintain and modify thousands of weapons.
     
  • Jul 14, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 14, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    NKorea abruptly cancels military talks with UN
    AP by Hyung-Jin Kim
     
    Iranian Nuclear Scientist Appears in Washington
     
    Sanctions on Iran squeeze fuel supplies: IEA
     
    A Trident nuclear submarine could be cut to save costs
     
    U.S. Details Planned Nuclear Stockpile Cut, Funding Priorities
  • Jul 13, 2010

     

    By Oliver Bloom
     
    A key element of the nuclear bargain enshrined in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (and supplemented by the policies of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group) concerns the NPT’s Article IV provisions that permit the transfer of peaceful nuclear technology to signatories, providing that they are in line with their treaty obligations. The Article IV provisions are an obvious carrot offered by the nuclear states to the non-nuclear states to reward them for not pursuing nuclear weapons program of their own. As Marvin Miller and Lawrence Scheinman explained back in 2003,
     
    permitting the transfer of nuclear technology on this basis [to non-NPT states], even if coupled with their endorsement and implementation of rigorous export control arrangements such as the NSG guidelines, as some advocate, would blur the distinction between NPT parties and nonparties and thus undermine the treaty. In the case of the United States (and other major nuclear suppliers), such a trade-off would contradict national law and the NSG guidelines that require acceptance of full-scope safeguards as a condition for nuclear technology transfer. For this reason, such a trade-off is not prudent.
     
  • Jul 13, 2010
     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    Russia has begun to take a stronger stance against Iran’s nuclear enrichment and urged a quick resolution to the debate over its atomic program. President Dmitry Medvedev over the weekend warned of Russia’s increasing wariness over the scope and intentions of continued uranium enrichment. However, despite Russia’s calls for a diplomatic resolution and vocal doubts about its true aims, Russia continues to support the construction of Iran’s new Bushehr nuclear energy plant. 
     
    Although Russia signed on to a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, government officials have always stressed their belief in the peaceful intentions of Iran’s program.
     
    Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced this weekend that Iran had enriched and currently holds more than 20 kilograms of higher-enriched uranium. Iran is still most likely a year away from producing enough fuel on its own to power a research reactor, but they announced their intention to do so by September 2011.
     
  • Jul 12, 2010

     

    by Anna Newby

    The United Nations announced today that high-level military officers from North Korea and the UN Command plan to meet tomorrow in the border village of Panmunjom to discuss the controversial Cheonan sinking last March. U.S. colonels will represent the UN at the meeting, which is intended as a precursor to higher-level talks. The most recent of the “General Officer Talks” at Panmunjom – which have taken place on an occasional basis since 1998 – was in March 2009.

  • Jul 12, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 12, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    N. Korea sees a resumption of nuclear talks
     
    20 kilos of 20 pct enriched uranium ready: Iran
     
    Four bust in 'dirty bomb' sale sting
    IOL (South Africa)
     
    Security Council Blinks
     
    This Week at War: Playing Sanctions Chicken
    Foreign Policy by Robert Haddick
  • Jul 9, 2010
     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    The UN Security Council adopted a statement today that condemns the sinking of the South Korean navy vessel Cheonan in May, but stops short of blaming North Korea for the attack.
     
    The statement, read by the council president, condemns and deplores the attack and calls for "appropriate and peaceful measures to be taken against those responsible."
     
    But it doesn't identify who is responsible and "takes note" of North Korea's response "that it had nothing to do with the incident."
     
    The Cheonan’s sinking raised tensions between North and South Korea as each side accused the other of complicity in the event. Seoul launched an investigation of the wreckage with several international parties before declaring its confidence that a North Korean torpedo was the cause. Pyongyang denied that it was involved and blamed the South for fabricating its evidence.
     
  • Jul 9, 2010

     

    By Oliver Bloom

     

     A story that was only recently picked up by NPRand Britishnewspapers on President Nixon’s difficulties formulating a response to North Korea’s shootdown of an American reconnaissance plane and his consideration of the use of nuclear weapons bears many similarities to the difficulties the United States currently faces with regards to North Korea. Recently declassified documents posted by Robert Wampler at the National Security Archive at George Washington University detail how
     
    Four decades ago, in response to North Korean military provocations, the U.S. developed contingency plans that included selected use of tactical nuclear weapons against Pyongyang’s military facilities and the possibility of full-scale war, according to recently declassified documents.
     
  • Jul 9, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 9, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    Ahmadinejad says sanctions will not alter nuclear drive
    AFP by Susan Njanji
     
    Obama says Israel unlikely to surprise US with Iran attack
    AFP by Gavin Rabinowitz
     
    Turkey still sees chance of Iran nuclear fuel swap deal
    Reuters by Adrian Croft
     
    Romney Misinformed on Nuclear Pact, Lugar Says
  • Jul 8, 2010

     

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    Last month, the New START Working Group at The Heritage Foundation released a Backgrounder on the verification regime in New START, criticizing the “weak verification measures” as a “step in the wrong direction” and “not sufficient to detect large-scale cheating by the Russian Federation.” The report lists six shortcomings with New START’s verification regime:
     
    (1)   The elimination of START’s verification measures for monitoring mobile ICBMs;
    (2)   The weakening of the exchange provisions for missile telemetry;
    (3)   Reductions in the number and overall effectiveness of inspections;
    (4)   Deficiencies in the verification regime’s ability to confirm the number of deployed ICBM and SLBM warheads;
    (5)   Elimination of the limits on the size and power of ballistic missiles, which constrain the maximum number of warheads that can be carried on a missile;
    (6)   Weaker procedural requirements for eliminating strategic nuclear delivery vehicles and launchers.  
     
    While both military and state department officials have expressed confidence in the New START verification measures, the best evaluation comes from the classified National Intelligence Estimate recently shared with the Senate. However, an analysis of the original rationale for the START ratification regime, followed by a careful evaluation of New START’s measures, when coupled with the statements from various informed officials, would certainly give us far more confidence than the Heritage Working Group. 
     
  • Jul 8, 2010

    by Anna Newby

     

    In a public interview session with The Atlantic magazine on Tuesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the “military option” for countering Iran’s controversial nuclear program and said that the benefits of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities may outweigh the costs.
  • Jul 8, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 8, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    China Stalls U.N. Efforts Against North Korea
    WSJ by Joe Lauria
     
    Iranian Official Sees Penalties Slowing Nuclear Work
     
    McCain: Israel not planning strike on Iranian nuclear facilities
    Washington Post by Janine Zacharia
     
    Jailed Russian Scientist Could be Traded For Accused Spy, Attorney Says
     
    The New Start Treaty: Time for a Careful Look
    WSJ by Jon Kyl
  • Jul 7, 2010

     

     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    Iran yesterday announced that it will agree to resume talks with the P5+1 over its nuclear program. September 1 was set as the target date for negotiations with the United States, Great Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany. The U.S. has said that it will agree to be part of the discussions if Iran’s offer was “serious.” The EU said that Iran’s willingness to meet is welcomed, but stressed that talks will need to specifically touch on Iran’s nuclear program.
     
    There are concerns that Iran will use the opportunity of future talks to waylay more pressure on its atomic program. It could also use the meeting itself as a platform to criticize the EU and U.S.
     
    What can anyone hope to gain from talks in September? The conditions proposed by Iran for the resumption of talks ask for declarations from all of the parties involved about their own support of the NPT, whether their intentions with Iran are peaceful or hostile and whether they support Israel’s atomic arsenal.
  • Jul 7, 2010

     

     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    EarthRights International, a Washington, D.C-based non-profit organization, released a report today estimating the amount of money that Burma receives from its natural gas exports and how that money is utilized by the regime to further its alleged proliferation goals.
     
    Along with the localized human rights abuses within the pipeline corridor and its surrounding areas, the Yadana Project has played an enormously significant role in financially supporting the Burmese military regime – the same regime that is suspected by the UN and others of committing crimes against humanity, and that is now under international scrutiny for implementing an illegal, expensive, and clandestine nuclear weapons program while participating in illicit military trade with North Korea.
  • Jul 7, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 7, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    China objects to US unilateral sanctions on Iran
     
    U.A.E. diplomat mulls hit on Iran's nukes
     
    Report: Secret document affirms U.S.-Israel nuclear partnership
    Ha'aretz by Barak Ravid (Reuters)
     
    Pakistani, U.S. Spies Seen Sparring on Nuclear Matters
     
    How New-START will improve our nation's security
    The Washington Post by John Kerry
  • Jul 6, 2010

     
    By Oliver Bloom
     
  • Jul 6, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 6, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    Korea emerging to be leading nuclear power plant exporter
    The Korea Times by Kim Tae-gyu
     
    Iran to halt 20% enrichment if uranium swap implemented
     
    Exiled Iranian opposition group: Sanctions directly impacting nuke program
    Ha'aretz by Reuters
     
    US, Poland sign modified missile shield deal         
     AFP by Christophe Schmidt
     
    Obama's worst foreign-policy mistake
    Washington Post by Mitt Romney
  • Jul 2, 2010

     

    Nuclear Policy News – July 2, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    China Could Need Waiver For Pakistani Nuclear Deal, U.S. Says
     
    Iran warms it is 'more determined' on nuclear drive
     
    Iran: Sanctions do not ban S-300 Russian missiles
    Yahoo!News by Albert Aji (AP)
     
    Russia Deploys New ICBM
     
    Analysis: U.S. pressure on Iran narrows UAE options
    Reuters by Alistair Lyon
  • Jul 2, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

     

    Itar-Tass, the official news agency of Russia, announced yesterday (an announcement that was later picked up by GSN) that the RS-24 Yars missile has entered operational deployment and is now on combat duty with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces. This comes despite a statement by Yuri Solomov, former chief designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology—a Russian research institute primarily focused on developing ballistic missiles, who back in April claimed that the industry “supplied the military” with the “first combat unit” of RS-24 missiles back in 2009. Global Security describes the RS-24 as
     
    a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, which is equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warhead. The RS-24 ICBM, which will replace the older SS-18 and SS-19 missiles by 2050, is expected to greatly strengthen the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) strike capability, as well as that of its allies until the mid-21st century. The RS-24 missile will be deployed both in silos and on mobile platforms and together with the Topol-M single-warhead ICBM will constitute the core of Russia's
     SMF in the future.
     
  • Jul 1, 2010

     

     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    Earlier this week, the Iranian government announced plans to postpone nuclear talks with the United States and other P5+1 powers until late August at the earliest. The move was announced in retaliation for a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran and follow-on unilateral measures imposed by the U.S. and EU. The postponement will not affect discussions to implement a nuclear fuel swap, but only dialogue about Iran’s overall nuclear program, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday. Today, Iran sent letters to 15 Security Council members saying that it was now “more determined” to continue the development of its atomic program.
     
  • Jul 1, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

    The UN Security Council established a Panel of Experts pursuant to Resolution 1874 to examine and improve the implementation of UN sanctions on North Korea and report on issues of noncompliance and recently issued a report (mentioned by the Associated Press) that ArmsControlWonk managed to snag. The report offers few surprises regarding the DPRK’s continued arms imports and exports, but does offer detailed and interesting insights into the DPRK’s methods for eluding international sanctions. 

     
    Not surprisingly, but perhaps most worryingly, the report concludes (having reviewed “several government assessments, IAEA reports, research papers and media reports”) that the DPRK continues to be involved
     
    in nuclear and ballistic missile related activities in certain other countries including Iran, Syria and Myanmar [and] a number of government and private experts with whom members of the Panel of Experts have spoken also expressed concern that the DPRK has the capability as well as the propensity to provide nuclear and ballistic missiles-related equipment, facilities, technical advice to and through clients overseas
     
    The report acknowledges that the DPRK
     
    has established a highly sophisticated international network for the acquisition, marketing and sale of arms and military equipment, and arms exports.
     
  • Jul 1, 2010

     

      Nuclear Policy News – July 1, 2010
     
    FISSILE MATERIAL
    Iran Arms Syria With Radar
    WSJ by Charles Levinson
     
    Dubai admits nuclear material being shipped through its ports
    The Daily Telegraph by Richard Spencer
     
    Assad backs Brazil-Turkey plan to solve Iran nuclear row
     
    Pakistan needs nuclear deterrence, says US
    DAWN News Agency by Anwar Iqbal
     
    Lawmakers Demand Better Nuclear Cost Tracking
  • Jul 1, 2010
     
    By Sarah Bulley
     
    Yesterday The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace held an event, “Nuclear Suppliers in New Zealand: Global Trade Rules at the Crossroads.” Mark Hibbs, a senior associate in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program, and George Perkovich, director of the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program presented a summary of last week’s suppliers group meeting in New Zealand and the potential trade of nuclear reactors between China and Pakistan.