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former IAEA Director-General

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U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Watch | INAUGURAL ISSUE, Feb 21, 2019

INF Treaty Suspension Opens the Door to New Missile Pursuits The United States and Russia formally suspended their obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty Feb. 2. The United States formally informed the other parties to the treaty that it would withdraw in six months if Russia did not eliminate its nuclear-capable 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, which the United States intelligence community assesses can fly beyond the 500-kilometer range limit set by the treaty. The announcement opens the door to accelerated work by the United States on research and...

Two Ideas That Might Stop a Post-INF Arms Race, and One That Won’t

This op-ed originally appeared in Defense One on Feb. 11, 2019. Barring an 11th-hour diplomatic breakthrough that resolves Russian and U.S. concerns about the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, new arms control arrangements will be needed to avert a dangerous and costly new missile race in Europe. On Feb. 2, both sides announced that they will suspend their obligations under the three-decade-old treaty, and will likely withdraw on August 2. This will scuttle the agreement that led to the verifiable elimination of 2,692 Soviet and U.S. missiles, helped end the Cold War, and paved the...

Select Reactions to the INF Treaty Crisis

The Trump administration’s sudden decision and announcement Oct. 20 to “terminate” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty due to Russian violations of the treaty has been met with bipartisan and international concern. On Dec. 4 , Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Russia to be in "material breach" of the treaty, and announced that the United States plans to suspend U.S. obligations under the treaty in 60 days (anticipated Feb. 2) unless Russia returns to compliance. On Feb. 1, the administration confirmed that the United States would simultaneously suspend its obligations...

How Can Norway, Sweden and Switzerland Stay Engaged with the TPNW?

Reports commissioned by Norway , Sweden * and Switzerland each recommended against signing and ratifying the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). These government-mandated inquiries may advise against ratification, but that should not be the end of each country’s engagement with the TPNW. The reports requested by Norway, Sweden and Switzerland rejected ratification of the TPNW in part because of a concern that ratifying would prevent them from continuing to play a bridge-building role between nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states, largely due to nuclear-...

U.S. Global Summit on Iran Faces Pushback | The P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, January 24, 2019

U.S. Global Summit on Iran Faces Pushback The United States and Poland are co-hosting a summit on Middle East stability with a particular focus on countering Iran, although several European foreign ministers are planning to skip the event. The ministerial-level meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13-14 in Warsaw. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Jan. 11 that the summit will “focus on Middle East stability and peace, freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence." The Polish Ministry of...

President Trump, Stop Using Tear Gas on Asylum Seekers

The U.S. decision to fire tear gas at men, women and children seeking asylum at the U.S./Mexican border may be legally dubious, but the brazen immorality of using a terrifying and indiscriminate weapon on a vulnerable crowd is undeniable. U.S. border patrol agents fired CS gas, a form of tear gas, into crowds of migrant men, women and children over the border with Mexico near San Diego and Tijuana on Jan. 1 and Nov. 25. The impact was horrific. Tear gas causes eye pain, coughing, burning sensations in the throat and nose and can lead to vomiting, fainting and even temporary vision loss. “I...

North Korea Denuclearization Digest, January 11, 2019

Kim Calls for U.S. Actions to Advance Talks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in his annual New Year’s address that he is willing to meet U.S. President Donald Trump “anytime,” but said that Pyongyang is waiting for Washington to take the next steps to advance negotiations on denuclearization and peace. Kim said that if the United States responds to North Korea’s “proactive, prior efforts with trustworthy measures and corresponding practical actions” it could lead to “more definite and epochal measures.” The failure to make progress, however, may compel North Korea to “find a new way for...

Security Council Debates Latest UN Report on Resolution 2231

At a Dec. 12 UN Security Council meeting on Iran , U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again raised the specter of Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for more stringent missile restrictions than those currently in place under Resolution 2231 , which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear activities and imposed constraints on Iran’s ballistic missile and conventional arms activities. While Iran’s ballistic missile activities pose a regional threat and a proliferation risk, the Trump administration’s blatant mischaracterization of UN Security Council...

Europeans Advance Alternative Payment System for Iran | P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, December 5, 2018

Europeans Advance Alternative Payment System for Iran Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said that Iran will give the European Union more time to work out the details of its Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), destined to facilitate trade with Iran, but said that Tehran will not “wait forever.” While Iran remains in compliance with the multilateral nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iranian officials have repeatedly stated that Tehran will abandon the agreement if it is no longer in the country’s best interest. The SPV, announced by EU foreign policy...

Covering the CWC Conference of States Parties and 4th Review Conference

Through the following blog series, Arms Control Association research assistant Alicia Sanders-Zakre will be providing ongoing reports and analysis from the Chemical Weapons Convention Conference of States Parties and Review Conference from November 21-30. States Fail to Agree to Final Review Conference Document December 3, 2018 States-parties to the Fourth Review Conference were unable to agree to a final consensus document by the end of the conference due to disagreements over language around Syrian chemical weapons use, the joint-investigative mechanism and attribution for chemical weapons...

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