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"[Arms Control Today] has become indispensable! I think it is the combination of the critical period we are in and the quality of the product. I found myself reading the May issue from cover to cover."

– Frank von Hippel
Co-Director of Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University
June 1, 2018
Arms Control Now Blog

Iran’s Nuclear Program Remains on Steady Trajectory

A Sept. 4 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirms that Iran continues to exceed limits on its uranium enrichment program imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) and is incrementally expanding its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 4.5 percent. While Iran’s persistent violations of the deal are troublesome, its rate of enriched uranium production has not increased over the course of 2020, indicating that Tehran is not actively dashing toward a bomb nor accelerating its production of fuel. This carefully calibrated approach supports assertions by Iranian leaders that...

IAEA Report Notes Progress on Investigation

The most recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s safeguards confirmed that inspectors have already accessed one undeclared site in Iran and will visit a second location in September. This is an unsurprising, but positive, confirmation that Iran and the IAEA are following through on the terms of an Aug. 26 agreement to finally allow agency inspectors access to follow up on evidence of possible undeclared nuclear materials and activities. While it is unfortunate that the dispute over access between the IAEA and Iran took nine months to resolve and that the IAEA’s Board...

CBO Report Strengthens Case for New START Extension

A new report published Aug. 25 by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) further strengthens the already no-brainer of a case for extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and eviscerates the irresponsible claim by the Trump administration’s top arms control official that the United States can spend Russia and China “into oblivion” in a new arms race. The report demonstrates that the already excessive, surging, and unsustainable financial costs to maintain and modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal could soar even higher if the treaty expires in five months and the...

The Dangerous Consequences of Trump’s Plan to Snapback UN Sanctions on Iran

The Security Council decisively rejected a U.S. resolution to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire in October. Despite the humiliating vote on Aug. 14—with 11 abstentions, 2 states voting against, and only the Dominican Republic voting with the United States in favor of the resolution—the Trump administration has signaled that it will try to prevent the embargo from expiring by using what is known as the “snapback” provision in Security Council Resolution 2231 . Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA...

Security Council Rejects Iran Arms Embargo Extension

Security Council Rejects Iran Arms Embargo Extension The Security Council decisively rejected a U.S. resolution to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October according to the terms of Resolution 2231, which endorses the 2015 nuclear deal and modifies UN sanctions on Iran. Despite the defeat, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said Aug. 14 that the Trump administration intends to try and use a mechanism in Resolution 2231 that allows for participants of the nuclear deal to snapback UN sanctions on Iran in order to prevent expiry of the arms embargo. Craft said the...

Civil Society Letter on Humanitarian Disarmament Advocates Path Ahead

Today, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions worldwide, has laid bare the terrible human cost of misaligned security policies. It underscores that global challenges, like the threat of nuclear war and the global trade in conventional arms, require global solutions. In response, a network of more than 250 organizations, have issued an open letter with advice built from decades of success using the humanitarian disarmament (HD) approach. That approach, which takes human security, rather than state security, as the organizing principle has led...

U.S.-Russian Arms Control Working Groups Meet

U.S.-Russian Arms Control Working Groups Meet Delegations representing the United States and Russia met in Vienna from July 27-30 for four days of talks on space security and nuclear arms control amid the Trump administration’s continued push for an unprecedented new trilateral arms control deal and uncertainty about the fate of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ). The four days of meetings marked the most sustained period of dialogue on arms control issues between professional experts from the two sides since the Trump administration took office. But few details have...

Explosion at Natanz Damages Centrifuge Production Building

An explosion at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility appears to have been a deliberate attack that will set back the country’s ability to manufacture centrifuges. Speaking at a news conference July 6, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), confirmed that the July 2 explosion occurred in a building at Natanz where Iran produces advanced centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium. The explosion did not impact the area of the facility where uranium enrichment takes place and the International Atomic Energy Agency said July 3 that its application of...

OPCW Rebukes Syria’s Chemical Weapons Program

A July 9 decision by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Executive Council demands that the Syrian Arab Republic cease all use of chemical weapons and come clean on its illegal arsenal. The decision marks the international watchdog’s most punitive response to Syria’s chemical weapons program since reports of chemical attacks first re-surfaced in 2014 and is a necessary step to address Damascus’s blatant violation of international law. Horrific chemical weapons attacks have continued on an irregular basis throughout the country’s ongoing civil war, despite the...

U.S. Continues Stalling on New START

U.S. Continues Stalling on New START The United States and Russia concluded the latest round of their strategic security dialogue June 22 without agreeing to extend the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ), the last remaining arms control agreement limiting their nuclear arsenals. The United States is “leaving all options available” on the future of the treaty, said Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea, who led the U.S. delegation at the talks in Vienna, during a June 24 briefing in Brussels. “We are willing to contemplate an extension of that agreement but...

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