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"...the Arms Control Association [does] so much to keep the focus on the issues so important to everyone here, to hold our leaders accountable to inspire creative thinking and to press for change. So we are grateful for your leadership and for the unyielding dedication to global nuclear security."
– Lord Des Browne
Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Press Releases

Arms Control Association Welcomes Obama’s Decision to Visit Hiroshima

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Urges Concrete Steps Toward Nuclear Weapons Free World

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2016

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107

(Washington, D.C.)—Today the White House announced that on May 27 President Barack Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima and its Peace Memorial Park, which honors the victims of the world’s first atomic bombings seventy years ago.

In an announcement of the visit, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes wrote that the president will “reaffirm America’s longstanding commitment — and the President’s personal commitment — to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” and “offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”

“We applaud President Obama's decision to visit Hiroshima, in part to recognize the innocent victims of war and, in particular, the experience and work of atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the hibakusha—who have worked tirelessly to remind the world why nuclear weapons must never be used again,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the independent, non-partisan Arms Control Association.

“Just as importantly, he should use the opportunity to map out concrete actions the United States and other countries can and will pursue to move closer to a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Kimball, who visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of last year.

“With just months remaining, Obama can still make a positive impact but only if he is more creative and is prepared to provide bolder leadership,” Kimball wrote in an editorial earlier this month, which describes key steps the president could announce.

As President Obama winds up his time in office, tensions with Russia are high, and further nuclear arms talks are on hold; no multilateral disarmament talks are underway; the door to further nuclear testing remains open; and a new technological arms race involving the world’s nuclear-armed states is underway

“Obama’s visit to Japan represents one of his last and best opportunities to take steps necessary to head off a new phase of global arms competition and establish a more meaningful legacy on nuclear disarmament,” according to Kimball.

Ten days after President Obama’s visit to Japan, on June 6, the Arms Control Association’s Annual Meeting will feature as keynote speakers Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and one of the most prominent and active Hiroshima survivors, Setsuko Thurlow. Details are online here.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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Today the White House announced that on May 27 President Barack Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima and its Peace Memorial Park, which honors the victims of the world’s first atomic bombings seventy years ago.

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Nuclear Security Cooperation After Summits at Risk

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For Immediate Release: March 23, 2016

Media Contact: Joseph McNamara at +1-563-264-6888 or [email protected]

(Washington, D.C.) – An effective new tool for improving global nuclear security is in danger of being lost, according to a new report by the Arms Control Association (ACA) and Partnership for Global Security (PGS). The report concludes that regular, voluntary commitment-making by states has resulted in many of the Nuclear Security Summits’ most important accomplishments, but it is not clear if world leaders will choose to preserve this tool after the six-year summit process ends on April 1.

The new report from ACA-PGS features 53 country profiles that demonstrate how the summits’ political momentum and commitment-making model has resulted in meaningful actions by all of the participating countries. Every state has made at least one national commitment to strengthen nuclear security and some countries have been prolific in their pledges, particularly Canada, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. Additionally, more than 90 percent of the participating countries issued voluntary, national progress reports detailing how they were implementing their responsibilities and breaking an important taboo against information sharing.

“Nuclear security commitment-making and progress reporting has been a powerful combination for achieving results at the Nuclear Security Summits,” said Ms. Michelle Cann, Director of Operations and Projects at PGS and report co-author. “The steps that leaders take to preserve these tools at the 2016 summit will be important for the legacy of the process and the future of the global nuclear security system.”

Among the summits’ chief accomplishments are the recovery or elimination of more than 1,500 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium and separated plutonium, the establishment of dozens of new training and support centers, and updates to national laws on nuclear safety and security by most states. The report also proposes that the commitment-making model of diplomacy developed at the summit has itself become a central summit outcome, pointing to its adapted use at the most recent climate conference in Paris.

“Sustainability is the key issue at the 2016 summit,” according to Ms. Kelsey Davenport, ACA’s Director of Nonproliferation Policy and report co-author. “We cannot afford to let nuclear security fall off the political radar with so many challenges still facing the system.”

“There are no international standards and minimum information sharing or review mechanisms built into the global nuclear security system,” said Ms. Jenna Parker, PGS’ Nuclear Security Analyst and report co-author. “These are complicated issues, but the urgency of confronting them is rapidly increasing in today’s decentralized threat environment.”

The full report, The Nuclear Security Summit: Accomplishments of the Process, is available online.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

The Partnership for Global Security mounts a global effort to strengthen global nuclear security governance and promotes practical policies to ensure all nuclear material and facilities are secure.

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An effective new tool for improving global nuclear security is in danger of being lost, according to a new report by...

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Iran Nuclear Deal Implementation Day is a Historic Milestone That Strengthens the Nonproliferation Regime

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For Immediate Release: January 16, 2016

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107; Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy, (202) 463-8270 ext. 102; Communications Director, 202-463-8270, ext. 110

(Washington, D.C.)—Today, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran and six world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) completed requirements for implementing the historic July 14 nuclear deal, which blocks Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons and strengthens the global nonproliferation regime.

Taken together, the restrictions dramatically roll back Iran’s uranium-enrichment capacity, block its route to nuclear weapons using plutonium, and put in place a multi-layered monitoring regime that keeps every element of Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle under surveillance. Additionally, Iran is prohibited from conducting activities or experiments relevant to a nuclear explosive device, even for conventional purposes. Without this deal, the time it would have taken Iran to develop nuclear warheads would have shrunk dramatically, putting Tehran just weeks away from producing enough fissile material for a bomb if it chose that path.

This hard-won nonproliferation victory demonstrates the international community’s commitment to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and significantly diminishes the future prospect of an Iranian nuclear arsenal.

In the months and years ahead, the United States and its negotiating partners must continue to diligently implement every element of this critical agreement and fully support the International Atomic Energy Agency in its work to verify compliance with the deal.—KELSEY DAVENPORT, director for nonproliferation policy, and DARYL G. KIMBALL, executive director. 

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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Today’s announcement that Iran and six world powers completed requirements for implementing the historic July 14 nuclear deal...

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Experts Available for Comment: Implementation Day of the Iran Nuclear Deal

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For Immediate Release: January 13, 2016

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107; Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy, (202) 463-8270 ext. 102

(Washington, D.C.)—Iran is expected to complete the steps necessary to trigger implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Once the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has taken these steps, which were agreed to in the nuclear deal concluded between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Iran, nuclear-related sanctions against Iran will be lifted.

Arms Control Association resources and experts are available to explain implementation day and its significance for international peace and security.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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Iran is expected to complete the steps necessary to trigger implementation day...

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Vote for the 2015 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year!

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December 8, 2015

The Arms Control Association is dedicated to providing authoritative information and promoting practical solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons: nuclear, biological, and chemical, as well as certain types of conventional arms.
 
Every year since 2007, the Arms Control Association's staff has nominated several individuals and institutions that have advanced effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions and/or raised awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons.
 
Each of this year’s nominees has, in their own way, provided leadership to help reduce weapons-related security threats. We invite you to cast your vote (one per person) for the 2015 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year.
 
Click here to vote and enter "ACPOY2015" as the password. Online voting will be closed at 11:59 p.m. on January 5, 2016 and the results announced January 7, 2016.
 
The nominees are:

Alberto Augusto, director of Mozambique’s National Demining Institute for coordinating the clearance of landmines from the territory of Mozambique—which was completed in 2015—and in recognition of the work of thousands of mine clearance workers, mine clearance NGOs such as the Halo Trust, and donors for more than two decades of work. The government of Mozambique estimates that as many as 10,900 persons throughout the country had been killed or injured by landmines that were deployed during the country’s multi-decade civil war. Mozambique is still contaminated by other types of unexploded ordnance and continues to struggle to raise funds for assistance for landmine victims and disability-inclusive development activities. For more information, see: http://bit.ly/1PQGfad and http://bit.ly/1NBC0wS.
 
The National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) of Tanzania for the capture and arrest of Yang Feng Lan, who is alleged to have helped smuggle around $3 million worth of ivory since 2001 and is also suspected of financing the purchase of weapons and vehicles for poaching gangs; for the arrest of Boniface Matthew Mariango, one of the most prolific elephant poachers and ivory traffickers in East Africa, and who has managed over 15 poaching syndicates that have been operating throughout Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Mozambique and southern Kenya with impunity for years. For more information, see: http://bit.ly/1OdX88H.
 
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the members of the technical and political negotiating teams of the European Union, the United States, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, China, and the Iran for successfully negotiating the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The deal establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons and for promptly detecting and deterring possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons in the future, in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. For more information, see: http://nyti.ms/1OdXg81.
 
Setsuko Thurlow and the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for their unyielding dedication to sharing first hand accounts of the catastrophic and inhumane effects of nuclear weapons, which serves to reinforce the taboo against the further use of nuclear weapons and spur action toward a world without nuclear weapons. For more information, see: http://huff.to/1IA5cEc.
 
Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) for introducing the Nuclear Terrorism Conventions Implementation and Safety of Maritime Navigation Act (H.R. 1056) on February 25 and later attaching the legislation to the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048), which was signed into law by the President on June 2. The legislation, a version of which President Obama first submitted to Congress in 2010, updates the U.S. criminal code to bring the United States into compliance with the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and the 2005 International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. Passage of the legislation allowed the United States to formally ratify the two agreements later in 2015. For more information, see: http://bit.ly/1Lj0UQ4
 
The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) for its investigative work in Syria  which has established the critical facts regarding the ongoing use of chemical weapons by combatants in the conflict. The work of the FFM is vital for the success of the ongoing OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in ascertaining the responsibility for chemical weapons use, which will be necessary for undertaking future criminal proceedings against those persons and entities who ordered and used chemical weapons. For more information, see: http://bit.ly/1XWeWdy 
 
Former Moldovan police investigator Constantin Malic, his fellow investigators, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for their efforts to halt the smuggling of nuclear material. The partnership has prevented the sale of radioactive material which can be used in a so-called "dirty bomb" through sting operations over the course of five years. Most recently, in February 2015, their joint undercover work resulted in the arrest of a smuggler who believed he was selling cesium to Daesh terrorists. For more information, see: http://apne.ws/1jKjhmx.
 
The World Medical Association and the American Medical Association for their 2015 statements warning "that even a limited nuclear war would bring about immense human suffering and substantial death toll together with catastrophic effects on the earth’s ecosystem,” and calling on "all governments to refrain from the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, deployment, threat and use of nuclear weapons and to work in good faith towards the elimination of nuclear weapons." For more information, see: http://bit.ly/1Tw3zI7.
 
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry for raising attention to the risk of renewed nuclear weapons competition and calling for restraint. In a series of public appearancesopeds, and in his book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, Perry has warned that “… far from continuing the nuclear disarmament that has been underway for the last two decades, we are starting a new nuclear arms race” with Russia, argued against proposals for new land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and new nuclear-capable cruise missiles, and called for renewed efforts for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
 
Click here to vote and enter "ACPOY2015" as the password.
 
***** 
 
Past winners of the "Arms Control Person of the Year" are: Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Ambassador Alexander Kmentt (2014), Executive-Secretary of the CTBTO Lassina Zerbo (2013); Gen. James Cartwright (2012); reporter and activist Kathi Lynn Austin (2011), Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov and Thomas D'Agostino, U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator (2010); Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) (2009 ), Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and his ministry's Director-General for Security Policy and the High North Steffen Kongstad (2008), and U.S.Congressmen Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and David Hobson (R-Ohio) (2007).
 
If you find the the Arms Control Association’s resources and work of value, please consider making a contribution online.
 
Our continued efforts depend on the support of individuals like you.

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The Arms Control Association (ACA) is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. ACA publishes the monthly journal, Arms Control Today.

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Every year since 2007, the Arms Control Association's staff has nominated several individuals and institutions that have advanced effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions and/or raised awareness ...

IAEA Report on Iran's Past Weaponization Activities Unsurprising

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Task Now Must Be to Effect Implementation of the Nuclear Deal

For Immediate Release: December 2, 2015

Media Contacts: Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy, 202-463-8270 ext. 102; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Timothy Farnsworth, communications director, 202-463-8270 ext. 110.

(Washington, D.C.)—The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released his final assessment today on Iran’s past activities that could be related to nuclear weapons development, the so-called possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Tehran’s nuclear program.

Yukiya Amano’s Dec. 2 report assessed that Iran conducted a coordinated “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” prior to the end of 2003 and some of the activities continued after 2003. According to the assessment the “activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.” The report said that the IAEA had no credible indications of these activities continuing after 2009.

The investigation was completed as part of a July 14 agreement between Iran and the IAEA. The agency had laid out its concerns in an annex to a November 2011 report, which covered a range of issues primarily relating to activities pre-dating 2004—from acquisition of materials to explosive testing.

“The IAEA’s assessment that Iran was engaged in activities relevant to the development of a nuclear weapon prior to 2004 is not surprising. That finding is consistent with what U.S. intelligence agencies, and nonproliferation watchdogs—including the Arms Control Association—have long-assumed,” said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association.

“The agency’s finding that there are ‘no credible indications’ that Tehran continued weaponization activities after 2009, or diverted nuclear material in connection with its past activities, is a strong indication that Iran has abandoned a coordinated nuclear weapons effort,” she added.

"While the director-general’s report is a critical step, it does not, however, ‘normalize’ Iran’s nuclear program in the eyes of the International Atomic Energy Agency or the international community. Iran’s nuclear activities will remain under a microscope and subject to a multi-layered monitoring and verification regime. The IAEA also will continue to work to reach a ‘broader conclusion’ on Iran’s nuclear program – meaning that there has been no diversion of declared nuclear materials and no indication of undeclared nuclear materials and activities over a period of time. That will provide greater assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful,” Davenport said.

“Iran’s long-overdue cooperation with the IAEA’s investigation is an important and necessary step forward to ensure that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons in the future,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. "It opens the way for the the Board of Governors to recognize the director-general’s report and for Iran to take the steps necessary to implement the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers—known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” Kimball said.

“Under the terms of the JCPOA, the IAEA will have more wide-ranging authority to monitor Iran’s ongoing nuclear work and verify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. The IAEA will have increased access to Iran’s nuclear sites, including every element of its fuel supply chain, and the ability to investigate evidence of any alleged illicit nuclear activities at undeclared sites, including military bases. That will provide greater assurance that Iran is not pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program in the future,” Kimball added.

The IAEA Board of Governors will convene for a special meeting on Dec. 15 to discuss the results of the director-general’s report and to determine the appropriate response to the report’s findings.

“Contrary to the assertions of some, the agency does not need to know every detail of Iran’s past work to monitor and verify Iran's compliance with the terms of the JCPOA. This is due to the fact that the IAEA’s verification scheme is based on the widely-held assumption that Iran did engage in weapons-related research in the past and that it achieved the capability to produce weapons-grade nuclear material and to weaponize that material some time ago,” said Davenport.

“With the JCPOA, the IAEA will have considerable flexibility to investigate evidence and concerns about any possible future weaponization activities. Without the JCPOA, the agency would have far less access and information to detect and deter illicit nuclear activities in the years ahead. Moving forward, it is critical that Iran and the P5+1 continue to take steps to follow-through on their commitments under the nuclear deal,” Kimball noted.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released...

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Bomber Contract Highlights Unrealistic Nuclear Modernization Strategy, Say Experts

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For Immediate Release: October 27, 2015

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270, ext. 107; Kingston Reif, director of disarmament and threat reduction policy, 202-463-8270, ext. 104

(Washington, D.C.)—Today Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced the U.S. Air Force’s decision to award the contract for the new, nuclear-armed, long-range penetrating strike bomber (or B3) program, which would cost in excess of $100 billion to design and build 80-100 of the planes.

The bomber buy is just one part of the Pentagon’s plan to spend at least $348 billion to maintain and rebuild the nuclear arsenal and refurbish the nuclear weapons complex over the next decade, according to a 2015 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.

“Given the B52H and B2A bombers are expected to remain in service through 2040 and 2060, respectively, there is no need to rush forward with the new strategic bomber, especially when it will compete with other high priority Air Force and Pentagon nuclear and conventional priorities,” said Kingston Reif, director of disarmament and threat reduction policy with the Arms Control Association.

Current plans to rebuild all three legs of the existing nuclear "triad" and their associated warheads, including 12 new ballistic missile submarines, up to 100 new long-range, nuclear-capable bombers, 642 new land-based ballistic missiles, and 1000 new, nuclear-capable long-range standoff cruise missiles.

"We believe the administration’s redundant, all-of-the-above approach to rebuilding all of the major U.S. nuclear weapons delivery systems at levels beyond realistic deterrence requirements is unsustainable and will deplete resources from higher national security priorities," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

The Air Force wants a total 1,000 of the new nuclear-armed cruise missiles for use by all three bombers—the B52H, the B2A and the B3—at a development cost of some $20-30 billion.

"The Pentagon has failed to provide a compelling reason why it needs both a new penetrating bomber and a standoff missile to meet the nuclear deterrence requirements of the United States and our allies," said Reif of the Arms Control Association. 

“The requirement that the air-leg of the U.S. triad have two means to assure mass destruction against the most advanced air-defenses constitutes excessive redundancy. Other weapons, such as submarine-launched ballistic missiles, can penetrate air defenses with high confidence,” Reif added.

In an Oct. 15 op-ed in The Washington Post, William Perry, President Bill Clinton’s defense secretary, and Andrew Weber, President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs, called on President Obama to cancel the nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missiles program.

Perry and Weber described nuclear-armed cruise missiles as “a uniquely destabilizing type of nuclear weapon.” Foregoing the development of a new version “would not diminish the formidable U.S. nuclear deterrent in the least" and "could lay the foundation for a global ban on these dangerous weapons” they wrote.

“Proponents of the new nuclear air-launched cruise missile say that it provides the president with flexible options in the event of a crisis and the ability to ‘control escalation’ in a conflict with another nuclear-armed state. In other words, the missiles would come in handy for nuclear war-fighting,” Reif said.

 “The thinking behind the new cruise missile is inconsistent with the stated goal of President Obama to reduce the role and number and salience of nuclear weapons in U.S. military strategy,” Kimball charged.

“Future nuclear force planning needs to take into account the fact that the President's 2013 nuclear weapons employment guidance allows for a one-third reduction below New START levels, but even if the United States maintains New START warhead levels, it can do so at significantly lower cost," Kimball said.

"Despite warnings from senior officials that the current modernization plans are unaffordable, Secretary Carter and President Barack Obama have failed to make common-sense adjustments. They can and should trim back, and in some cases, forgo redundant and costly systems, such as a new nuclear-armed cruise missile, and save taxpayer dollars," Kimball added.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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Today Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced the U.S. Air Force’s decision to award the contract for the new, nuclear-armed, long-range penetrating strike bomber...

The Pope and Nuclear Disarmament: Background Resources Available

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For Immediate Release: September 22, 2015

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy, 202-463-8270 ext. 102; Timothy Farnsworth, communications director, 202-463-8270 ext. 110.

(Washington, D.C.)—Under the papacy of Francis, the Catholic Church is renewing and reinvigorating its call for nuclear disarmament. In a pivotal statement at the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons in December 2014, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Vatican’s UN ambassador in Geneva, said the “reliance on a strategy of nuclear deterrence has created a less secure world,” and called for all countries to review deterrence as a “stable basis for peace.”

At the 59th meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Conference last week, the Vatican said that “nuclear deterrence can hardly be the basis for peaceful coexistence among peoples and states in the 21st century.” The statement, issued by Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher also called for a "real efforts toward facilitating the entry into force of the CTBT [Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty]" and endorsed the July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers saying it ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

During his trip to the United States he will address Congress on Sept. 24 and the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 25. Pope Francis may continue to call for the United States to take further steps toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

For more information on the Catholic Church’s views on nuclear weapons, see the following resources.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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During his trip to the United States, Pope Francis may continue to call for the United States to take further steps toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

70-Plus Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts Announce Support for Iran Nuclear Deal

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More Than 70 Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts Announce Support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

 Iran Nuclear Deal "A Net-Plus for International Nuclear Nonproliferation"

For Immediate Release: August 18, 2015

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Timothy Farnsworth, communications director, 202-463-8270 x110.

(Washington, D.C.)—More than 70 of the world's leading nuclear nonproliferation specialists issued a joint statement outlining why the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts.”

The group of experts write in their statement that the July 14 agreement “ … advances the security interests of the P5+1 nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, their allies and partners in the Middle East, and the international community."

In the statement, which is endorsed by former U.S. nuclear negotiators, former senior U.S. nonproliferation officials, a former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a former member of the UN Panel of Experts on Iran, and leading nuclear specialists from the United States and around the globe, the experts "… urge the leaders of the P5+1 states, the European Union, and Iran to take the steps necessary to ensure timely implementation and rigorous compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

The statement concludes: “… we believe the JCPOA meets key nonproliferation and security objectives and see no realistic prospect for a better nuclear agreement."

The agreement, which was negotiated by the P5+1 and Iran and has been approved by the UN Security Council, will be voted on by the U.S. Congress in September. The JCPOA will establish long-term, verifiable restrictions on Iran's sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities, many of which will last for 10 years, some for 15 years, some for 25 years, with enhanced IAEA monitoring under Iran's additional protocol agreement with the IAEA and modified code 3.1 safeguards provisions lasting indefinitely.

“This statement from more than 70 of the world’s leading nonproliferation specialists underscores, as President Barack Obama recently noted, the majority of arms control and non-proliferation experts support the P5+1 and Iran nuclear deal,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, which organized the nonproliferation specialists' statement.

The full text of the statement is available below. You can also download a PDF version, here.

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The Comprehensive P5+1 Nuclear Agreement With Iran:
A Net-Plus for Nonproliferation
 
Statement from Nuclear Nonproliferation Specialists
August 17, 2015

 
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts. 
 
It advances the security interests of the P5+1 nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, their allies and partners in the Middle East, and the international community.
 
When implemented, the JCPOA will establish long-term, verifiable restrictions on Iran's enrichment facilities and research and development, including advanced centrifuge research and deployment. Taken in combination with stringent limitations on Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile, these restrictions ensure that Iran’s capability to produce enough bomb-grade uranium sufficient for one weapon would be extended to approximately 12 months for a decade or more.
 
Moreover, the JCPOA will effectively eliminate Iran’s ability to produce and separate plutonium for a nuclear weapon for at least 15 years, including by permanently modifying the Arak reactor, Iran’s major potential source for weapons grade plutonium, committing Iran not to reprocess spent fuel, and shipping spent fuel out of the country.
 
The JCPOA is effectively verifiable. The agreement will put in place a multi-layered monitoring regime across Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, including centrifuge manufacturing sites (for 20 years), uranium mining and milling (for 25 years), and continuous monitoring of a larger number of nuclear and nuclear-related sites.
 
The JCPOA requires Iran to implement and ratify the additional protocol to Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement, which significantly enhances the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspection regime. Among other measures, this will give international inspectors timely access to any Iranian facility of proliferation concern, including military sites, which the JCPOA will ensure cannot be stalled more than 24 days without serious consequences.
 
In addition, the JCPOA puts in place safeguards that require early notification of design changes or new nuclear projects by Iran (the modified code 3.1 provision). The additional protocol and code 3.1 monitoring and verification measures will remain in place indefinitely.
 
The JCPOA also requires that Iran cooperate with the IAEA to conclude its long-running investigation of Iran's past activities with possible military dimensions (PMDs) and permanently prohibits certain dual-use activities, which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device.
 
Taken together, these rigorous limits and transparency measures will make it very likely that any future effort by Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, even a clandestine program, would be detected promptly, providing the opportunity to intervene decisively to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
 
The agreement requires that Iran undertake major steps—including to reduce its uranium enrichment capacity, modify the Arak reactor, allow for more intrusive international monitoring, and cooperate with the IAEA’s PMD investigation—before UN Security Council, U.S., and EU economic and financial sanctions are suspended or terminated, and it provides for swift consequences in the event of noncompliance.
 
If all sides comply with and faithfully implement their multi-year obligations, the agreement will reduce the risk of a destabilizing nuclear competition in a troubled region – giving time and space to address other regional problems without fear of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons—and head off a catastrophic military conflict over Iran's nuclear program.
 
Though all of us could find ways to improve the text, we believe the JCPOA meets key nonproliferation and security objectives and see no realistic prospect for a better nuclear agreement.
 
We urge the leaders of the P5+1 states, the European Union, and Iran to take the steps necessary to ensure timely implementation and rigorous compliance with the JCPOA.
 
 
Endorsed by:

Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, Commissioner of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission* and former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, former Director-General for Arms Control and Science Affairs of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

James Acton, Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

John Ahearne, former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Steve Andreasen, former Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council staff (1993-2001), consultant to the Nuclear Threat Initiative* 

Dr. Bruce Blair, Research Scholar, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Dr. Barry Blechman, Co-Founder, Stimson Center*

Hans Blix, former Director General of the IAEA

Avis Bohlen, former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, U.S. Department of State

Amb. (ret.) Kenneth C. Brill, Ambassador to the IAEA (2001-2004) and Founding Director of the U.S. National Counterproliferation Center (2005-2009) 

Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice, Harvard Kennedy School, and former adviser to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Susan F. Burk, former Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State

Sandra Ionno Butcher, Executive Director, Pugwash Conferences on Science & World Affairs (International)*

John Carlson, Counselor, Nuclear Threat Initiative, former Director General, Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation Office

Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund

Tom Z. Collina, Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund, and former Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Institute for Science and International Security and the Director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Avner Cohen, Professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey*

Philip E. Coyle, former Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy 

Toby Dalton, Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association

Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

Amb. Sergio Duarte, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

Robert J. Einhorn, former U.S. Department of State Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control and former negotiator on the Iran nuclear talks

Dina Esfandiary, MacArthur Fellow, Centre for Science and Security Studies, Department of War Studies, Kings College London

Trevor Findlay, Senior Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University 

Richard L. Garwin, former Chair of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board of the U.S Department of State

Murray Gell-Mann, recipient of the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics, Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, and Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico**

Ellie Geranmayeh, Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations*

Ilan Goldenberg, former Iran Team Chief, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund, Co-Director and Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Morton H. Halperin, former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State

Laicie Heeley, Fellow, Stimson Center*

John D. Holum, former Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and former Principal Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control**

Paul Ingram, Executive Director, British American Security Information Council

Raymond Jeanloz, Chair, National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control*

Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs**

Togzhan Kassenova, Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

R. Scott Kemp, assistant professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, former science advisor to the U.S. Department of State’s Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control 

Duyeon Kim, Associate, Nuclear Policy Program and Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association

Michael Krepon, Co-Founder, Stimson Center* 

Ellen Laipson, President and CEO, Stimson Center*

Dr. Edward Levine, former Senior Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1997-2011) and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1976-1997) 

Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey* and Director of East Asia Non-Proliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies*

Jan Lodal, former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

Jessica T. Mathews, Distinguished Fellow, former President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

Fred McGoldrick, former Director of the Office of Nonproliferation and Export Policy, U.S. Department of State

Oliver Meier, Deputy Head, International Security Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)*

Dr. Zia Mian, Director of the Project on Peace and Security in South Asia at the Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Adam Mount, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations*

Richard Nephew, former Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State, and Director for Iran on the National Security Staff

George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace* 

Amb. Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan

Steve Pifer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, and retired career Foreign Service officer 

Paul R. Pillar, former U.S. National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia

Valerie Plame, former covert CIA operations officer

William Potter, Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey*

Tariq Rauf, former Head of Verification and Security Policy Coordination, Office reporting to the Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency, and Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)* 

Laura Rockwood, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation,* and former section head for nonproliferation and policymaking in the Office of Legal Affairs of the IAEA (1985-2013) 

Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative*

Dr. Randy Rydell, former Senior Political Affairs Officer in the Office of the High Representative for Disarmament, United Nations

Scott D. Sagan, The Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

Thomas Shea, former IAEA Safeguards Official, and former Head of the IAEA Trilateral Initiative Office, and former Sector Head of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Shen Dingli, Professor and Director, Program on Arms Control and Regional Security, and Associate Dean, Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Jacqueline Shire, former member of United Nations Panel of Experts (Iran) established under Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010)

Leonard S. Spector, Deputy Director, Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies,* and former Assistant Deputy Administrator for Arms Control and Nonproliferation at the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration

Sharon Squassoni, Senior Fellow and Director, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies*

Ariane M. Tabatabai, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Security Studies Program at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service*

Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, U.S. Department of State, seven-term Member of House of Representatives, and Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (2006-2009) 

Greg Thielmann, former Director of the Strategic, Proliferation and Military Affairs Office in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Dr. Ali Vaez, Senior Iran Analyst, International Crisis Group 

Frank von Hippel, former Assistant Director for National Security, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Dr. James Walsh, Research Associate at the Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Honorable Andy Weber, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, U.S. Department of Defense

Larry Weiler, former Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and a negotiator of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

Amb. Joseph Wilson (ret.), former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton and Senior Director at the National Security Council

Joel S. Wit, Visiting Scholar at U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University Weatherhead Institute for East Asian Studies, and former Coordinator for the U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework (1995-1999)

Dr. David Wright, Co-Director and Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Amb. Norman A. Wulf, U.S. Department of State (ret.), and Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation (1999-2002) 

*Institution listed for identification purposes only.
**Endorsement received after August 18 release date.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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More than 70 of the world's leading nuclear nonproliferation specialists issued a joint statement outlining why the Iran nuclear deal...

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P5+1 Nations and Iran Reach Historic Nuclear Deal

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Arms Control Association Experts Say the Agreement Creates a Strong, Effective Barrier Against a Nuclear-Armed Iran

For Immediate Release: July 14, 2015

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-277-3478; Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy, 317-460-8806; Greg Thielmann, senior fellow, 703-946-4407.

(Washington, D.C.)—Today's announcement from the P5+1 group (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany) and Iran that they have achieved a verifiable, comprehensive agreement to limit Iran's sensitive nuclear activities is a historic breakthrough for nuclear nonproliferation and international security.

The agreement—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons and promptly detecting and deterring possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons in the future.

We join with a wide range of nonproliferation and security experts in assessing that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is consistent with the April 2 framework agreed to at Lausanne, is a net-plus for nuclear nonproliferation and is clearly in the interest of both the United States, its allies and partners in the Middle East, Iran, and the international community. 

When implemented, the P5+1 and Iran agreement will establish long-term, verifiable restrictions on Iran's sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities—many of these restrictions will last for 10 years, some for 15 years, and some for 25 years. Iran’s plutonium path to the bomb will be eliminated, its potential to “breakout” and amass enough bomb-grade uranium for one bomb will be expanded from approximately 2-3 months to at least 12 months.

Just as importantly, the agreement will put in place a layered monitoring regime, which will include very robust International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections under Iran's additional protocol to its comprehensive safeguards agreement, giving international inspectors access to the any Iranian facility of proliferation concern including military sites, and also as the modified code 3.1 safeguards that require early notification of design changes or new nuclear projects by Iran. These provisions will last indefinitely to help detect and deter future nuclear weapons related efforts.

The sanctions relief that Iran will receive in return as it meets its key nuclear restrictions and nonproliferation commitments also serves as an incentive for Tehran to follow through on its obligations in the long term.

If both sides comply with, and faithfully implement, their multi-year obligations, the agreement will reduce the risk of a destabilizing nuclear competition in a troubled region and head off a potentially catastrophic military conflict over Iran's nuclear program.

Some critics of this deal in the United States may still believe that by rejecting the agreement and increasing sanctions pressure on Iran, the United States can somehow coerce the leaders in Tehran to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program or agree to better terms. That is a dangerous illusion. There is no better deal on the horizon.

If Congress somehow blocks implementation of this hard-won, balanced and effective multilateral deal, the United States will have broken from its European allies, the necessary international support for Iran-related sanctions would melt away, Iran would be able to rapidly and significantly expand its capacity to produce bomb-grade material; we would lose out on securing enhanced inspections needed to detect a clandestine weapons effort. The risk of a nuclear-armed Iran would thereby increase.

In the coming weeks, members of the U.S Congress on both sides of the aisle should carefully examine this complex agreement, evaluate its benefits, and evaluate the alternatives. This is the time to seize—not squander—the chance to put in place an effective, long-term, verifiable deal that blocks Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons.—DARYL G. KIMBALL, executive director, and KELSEY DAVENPORT, director for nonproliferation policy.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

Description: 

Today's announcement from the P5+1 group and Iran that they have achieved a verifiable, comprehensive agreement to limit Iran's sensitive nuclear activities is a historic breakthrough...

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