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"The Arms Control Association’s work is an important resource to legislators and policymakers when contemplating a new policy direction or decision."

– General John Shalikashvili
former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Arms Control Now Blog

E3 Put JCPOA at Risk, Luckily Cooler Heads in Vienna Prevailed

An exercise of restraint at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Board of Governors meeting may have preserved the space for diplomatic efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, in part due to efforts by the United States and others to sway Britain, France, and Germany from pursuing a gratuitous resolution censuring Tehran. The resolution risked jeopardizing the IAEA’s access to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities, as well as the already uncertain path toward restoration of the accord. The European members of the deal circulated a draft resolution ahead of the quarterly IAEA...

U.S., Russia Extend New START for Five Years

With only days remaining until its expiration, the United States and Russia officially sealed an extension of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ) for an additional five years, keeping in place the treaty’s verifiable limits on the deployed strategic nuclear arsenals of the world’s two largest nuclear powers. The U.S. Department of State and the Russian Foreign Ministry issued separate statements Feb. 3 announcing that the formal exchange of documents on the extension had been completed. Biden administration officials stressed that the extension would buy time and space...

Biden Officials Express Support for Rejoining Iran Nuclear Deal

Biden Officials Express Support for Rejoining Iran Nuclear Deal Biden administration officials continue to voice support for returning the United States to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but caution that restoring full implementation of the agreement may take time. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the Biden administration’s commitment “to the proposition that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon,” during his Jan. 19 confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said that the United States intends to rejoin...

Fate of New START Hinges on Biden

Fate of New START Hinges on Biden With less than two months remaining until the last agreement limiting the U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals expires, Russia has reiterated its offer to extend the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ). Though President-elect Joe Biden has said that he will seek to extend the agreement, the incoming administration has yet to decide on the length of an extension to seek. “Russia is in favor of extending this treaty for five years without additional conditions,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov Nov. 30. In his annual...

Iran Passes Nuclear Law

Iran Passes Nuclear Law Iran’s parliament and Guardian Council passed legislation Dec. 2 requiring Iran to take significant steps to ratchet up its nuclear activities in 60 days if certain sanctions relief measures are not met. The Nov. 27 assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, regarded as among Iran’s top nuclear scientists, likely accelerated the legislation. The legislation, which is expected to become law in the coming days, will require the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to cease implementing the additional protocol to its safeguards agreement 60 days after enactment if certain...

Iran’s Accumulation of Enriched Uranium Slows

Although the troubling growth of Iran’s uranium enrichment stockpile continues, the most recent report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) indicates that Tehran’s accumulation of enriched uranium slowed over the past quarter. It is concerning that Iran continues to breach limits set by the nuclear deal, but the slower stockpile growth and no indication of new violations suggests Tehran is showing restraint so as not to cross any red lines that might imperil a U.S. re-entry into the nuclear deal and return to full compliance by all parties down the road. Iran’s stockpile of...

UN Restrictions on Iran’s Arms Trade Expire

UN Restrictions on Iran’s Arms Trade Expire Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the expiration of UN restrictions on Iran’s conventional arms trade as “momentous,” but said Tehran will not go on a weapons “buying spree.” The UN arms embargo ended Oct. 18 under the terms of Resolution 2231 , which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and modified UN sanctions on Iran. The United States sought to prevent the expiration of the UN measures by snapping back Security Council sanctions on Iran using a provision in Resolution 2231 that cannot be blocked by veto. However, the Security...

House, Senate Differ on Nuclear Testing Proposal

Members of Congress continue to push back against the Trump administration’s reported consideration of a nuclear weapons test as negotiators from the House and Senate soon meet to determine whether to allocate funds for such a potential test in next year’s defense bill. The Washington Post first reported in May that the administration had discussed that month whether to conduct a nuclear weapons test. U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea said June 24 that he was “unaware of any particular reason to test at this stage,” but that the United States “[maintains]...

U.S., Russia Disagree on Prospect for Arms Control Deal

U.S., Russia Disagree on Prospect for Arms Control Deal Against the backdrop of the imminent U.S. presidential election and the impending expiration in less than four months of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ), the Trump administration appears to have once again shifted its proposal for an arms control framework deal with Russia. But despite U.S. claims of progress in recent talks, Russia continues to strongly reject the proposed U.S. framework and to call for extending New START by five years without conditions as allowed by the treaty. U.S. Special Presidential...

UN Defies United States on Sanctions Snapback

UN Defies United States on Sanctions Snapback The United States threatened to penalize any country that fails to enforce UN sanctions on Iran that the Trump administration claims were reimposed Sept. 19, but UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council that he would not take steps to implement the UN measures, which were lifted as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal. In a letter to the Security Council reported on by Reuters, Guterres said there is “uncertainty” over the status of the sanctions and that “pending clarification,” he will not take any action. Despite...

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