Nuclear Policy News - February 16, 2012

Feb 16, 2012
TOP NEWS 
 
China urges IAEA to step up cooperation with Iran
 
Iran Cites Nuclear Gains, Offers Talks
 
U.N. nuclear watchdog set for high-stakes Iran talks
 
GOP pushes back against any further cuts in nukes
San Antonio Express
 
EAST ASIA
 
U.S. proposes 'monitored shutdown' of N. Korea's UEP
 
The United States has suggested that North Korea shut down its uranium enrichment facilities under the monitoring of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, citing the shutdown as a key condition for the resumption of six-way nuclear talks, a diplomatic source here said Wednesday.
 
China Calls for Early Resumption of Iran Nuclear Issue Talks
 
China on Thursday called on relevant parties to seize the opportunity for the early resumption of dialogue on the Iran nuclear issue.
 
China urges IAEA to step up cooperation with Iran
 
China Thursday urged the UN atomic watchdog to step up cooperation with Iran in a bid to restore trust over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, after the Islamic state unveiled progress in its atomic programme.
 
Documents show Japan, U.S. at odds over IAEA nuclear inspections
 
Japan and the United States clashed with each other over nuclear inspection provisions with the International Atomic Energy Agency in the late 1960s because of Washington's demand that it and other countries possessing nuclear weapons be treated differently, newly declassified diplomatic documents showed Wednesday.
 
MIDDLE EAST
 
Iran Cites Nuclear Gains, Offers Talks
 
Iran said it reached a landmark in its use of nuclear fuel and offered to return to international talks about its program for the first time in more than a year—as probes into a string of foreign bombings suggested more evidence that the attacks were connected and that Iranians were involved.
 
Israel says Thai bombs similar to those in India, Georgia
 
Israeli officials said Wednesday that magnetic explosive devices found after a series of explosions in Bangkok on Tuesday were similar to bombs used a day earlier to target Israeli diplomats in New Delhi and in Tbilisi, Georgia.
 
Iran Envoy Says IAEA Must Disprove Aiding Scientist Murders
 
The United Nations atomic watchdog must show that it didn’t facilitate the assassinations of several nuclear scientists in Iran, the country’s ambassador to Russia said.
 
SOUTH ASIA
 
Iran nuclear crisis makes fuel price hike inevitable after polls
 
Iran's escalating tensions would make an increase in the prices of motor and kitchen fuels inevitable after the polls as international crude hit a six-month high of near $120 a barrel on Wednesday.
 
Iran tension could eclipse Pakistan Security summit
 
Afghan President Hamid Karzai sought Pakistan's support on Thursday for advancing the reconciliation process in Afghanistan ahead of a trilateral summit on regional security involving Iran's president.
 
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
 
Russian defense sector aims high
 
In a robust move to streamline Russia’s military, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said the defense sector will dramatically consolidate its operations.
 
Russia urges "serious" search for compromise with Iran
 
Russia said global powers must work harder to win concessions from Iran over its nuclear program, warning that Tehran's desire for compromise is decreasing as it moves closer to being able to build atomic weapons.
 
MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION
 
U.N. nuclear watchdog set for high-stakes Iran talks
 
The U.N. nuclear watchdog sent its top brass to an Iranian embassy event in Vienna a few days ago, but the goodwill gesture may do little to win over the Islamic state to transparency about its nuclear activity at crunch talks in Tehran next week.
 
Russia Stresses IAEA's Decisive Role in Settling Iran's N. Issue
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underlined the important and decisive role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in resolving Iran's nuclear issue, and asked the world powers not to undermine the IAEA's role.
 
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
 
Pentagon chiefs grilled over possible nuclear cuts
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tried to defuse concerns in Congress on Wednesday about potential cuts to America's nuclear arsenal, as details emerged about options under consideration that include an 80 percent reduction in the number of warheads.
 
GOP pushes back against any further cuts in nukes
San Antonio Express
 
Congressional Republicans on Wednesday vowed to block the Obama administration from sharply cutting the U.S. nuclear force, calling potential reductions of as much as 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons "reckless lunacy."
OPINIONS
 
Rep. Turner vs. the Budget Control Act: More Nukes is Good Nukes
Kingston Reif
 
Rep. Michael Turner’s (R-OH) love affair with nuclear weapons continues. His national security raison d'être appears to be to protect at all costs spending on an excessively large nuclear arsenal ill-suited to the current threat environment and oppose common sense, bipartisan steps such as the New START treaty that begin to put America’s nuclear posture on a 21st century footing.
 
Iran Responds to P5+1 Offer for New Talks
Peter Crail
 
Iran’s formal response to the P5+1 expressing a willingness to discuss its nuclear program helps pave the way for the first such meeting in over a year.
 
Obama Plan To Reduce Nukes Is Good For Budget, Boosts Moral Authority On Global Nonproliferation
Lawrence Korb and Alex Rothman
 
The Obama administration is reportedly considering major reductions in the size the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The administration has reportedly asked the Pentagon to evaluate three options for further cuts: to approximately 1100, 800, or 400 weapons. Any of these scenarios would take the United States well below the ceiling imposed by the New START treaty, which requires the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals to no more than 1,550 deployed weapons.
 
Iran sanctions: Why India is in a tight spot
Scott Baldauf
 
As the world’s largest importer of Iranian crude oil, and as a close strategic ally of the United States, India is in a tight spot.