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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
Nuclear Testing

The November IAEA Report on Iran's Nuclear Program: No Significant Advances

By Kelsey Davenport, Daryl G. Kimball, and Greg Thielmann (Updated November 18) The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi and Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano, right, after signing an agreement in Tehran on November 11 giving the agency greater access to some nuclear sites in Iran. (Credit: European Pressphoto Agency) During the negotiations in Geneva on November 7-10, Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) made significant progress toward reaching a "first...

The Week Ahead Nov. 12-15: Iran Talks Continue; Syrian CW Plan; Senate Debates Defense

This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming week, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. (Send your suggestions for events to be covered here. ) - the Editors at Arms Control Today IAEA Quarterly Report on Iran's Nuclear Program On Monday, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano will met with top Iranian officials to initial an an updated framework agreement for cooperation. See: . Later this week the IAEA is expected to release an updated quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program. The last report issued in August describes...

Closing in on a Deal with Iran: Assessing the Nov. 7-9 Talks

By Daryl G. Kimball and Kelsey Davenport (Updated 6:00am, Nov. 11, 2013) US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Catherine Ashton, lead negotiator for the P5+1, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva on Nov. 9. After three days of intense, multidimensional talks in Geneva Nov. 7-9, the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany) and Iran are closing in on a breakthrough, "first phase" deal that would verifiably halt the progress of Iran's nuclear program. Although the most recent round of talks did not end with an agreement, the talks...

A Realistic, Meaningful Nuclear Deal With Iran Is Within Reach

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Nov. 7, before the start of the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages) By Daryl G. Kimball and Kelsey Davenport For nearly a decade, negotiators from United States and other major powers have sought but failed to reach a deal with Iran to guard against the possibility that Tehran may someday seek to build nuclear weapons. Since the last major diplomatic opportunity to limit Iran's program was squandered in 2005-06, Iran has increased its capacity to enrich uranium...

IAEA and Iran Engaged in "Substantive" Talks

By Kelsey Davenport Tero Varjoranta, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards and Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi address the press on Oct. 29 after two days of talks in Vienna. After the two days of meetings in Vienna the IAEA and Iran issued a joint statement that described the discussions as "substantive" and referenced the "new proposal" presented by Tehran. The proposal was described as containing "practical measures" to "strengthen cooperation and dialogue with a view to future resolutions of all outstanding issues." The IAEA laid out its...

Week Ahead Oct. 28-Nov. 2: Iran's nuclear program, the B61 bomb, Gottemoeller nomination

This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming week, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. (Send your suggestions for events to be covered here. ) - the Editors at Arms Control Today Iran Resumes IAEA Talks on Oct. 28 As Iran negotiates with six global powers over the future of its nuclear program, officials from the Islamic Republic meet with the International Atomic Energy Agency to discuss Iran's nuclear activities that might have a military purpose. For an in-depth analysis, see: "It's Time for Iran to Cooperate with the...

United States Lagging on New START Implementation

By Greg Thielmann The latest semi-annual exchange of data under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) shows continuing U.S. lethargy in implementing the modest reductions agreed to when it joined Russia in signing the treaty three-and-a-half years ago. One should not over-read any change from one period to the next. Numerical spikes or dips can occur from such things as ballistic missile submarines entering or leaving overhaul or from already retired weapons finally being destroyed under the terms of the treaty and taken off the official rolls. Yet a clear picture of trends...

Foreign Ministers Urge Action on CTBT

Daryl G. Kimball

More than 50 foreign ministers and senior government representatives met Sept. 27 at the United Nations to call for prompt action toward entry into force of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

One hundred eighty-three states have signed the treaty, and 161 have ratified it. But under the terms of the treaty, eight more listed in Article XIV of the treaty, including the United States and China, must ratify it to achieve entry into force.

This year’s conference on facilitating entry into force, the eighth such meeting held since 1999, adopted a final declaration reaffirming the participants’ “determination to take concrete steps towards early entry into force” and pledging “support for bilateral, regional, and multilateral outreach initiatives” to that end. The conference did not produce a work plan for such an effort.

In an effort to spur progress, the new executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, announced the formation of 18-member Group of Eminent Persons to boost national and international efforts to bring the treaty into force. It includes several former foreign and defense ministers and senior diplomats, plus the co-chairs of the Sept. 27 conference, Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

U.S. and Chinese officials reiterated their support for the treaty, but did not make any commitments on ratification. Mirroring comments made at the 2011 conference, Rose Gottemoeller, the acting U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said that “there are no set time frames to bring the treaty to a vote, and we are going to be patient, but persistent in our outreach efforts.” Pang Sen, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Arms Control Department, pledged that his government would continue to “push forward the deliberation process” for Chinese ratification.

In August, following a visit by Zerbo to Beijing to meet with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, China agreed to transmit data from the CTBTO’s monitoring stations in China to the organization’s International Data Center (IDC) in Vienna. According to an Aug. 7 CTBTO press statement, “This is part of the testing and evaluation process that marks the first formal step towards certification of the monitoring stations in China.”

The International Monitoring System will consist of 337 monitoring facilities when complete. Around 85 percent have already been installed and are sending data to the IDC. To date, 10 of the 11 CTBTO monitoring stations hosted by China have been built.

More than 50 foreign ministers and senior government representatives met Sept. 27 at the United Nations to call for prompt action toward entry into force of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Despite Israeli Doubts, Serious Diplomacy Is the Best Option for Iran

By Kelsey Davenport Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the UN General Assembly on October 1, 2013. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly today that Israel will "stand alone" in order to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is good that Prime Minister Netanyahu is prepared for that, because alone is where Israel is right now when it comes to policy on Iran's nuclear program. Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to have missed the readout on the positive progress made last week on the negotiations between six world powers, or the P5+1, and...

Civil Society Pushes Key States to Act on Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

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For Immediate Release: Sept. 27, 2013

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Director, Arms Control Association, (202-463-8270 ext. 107)

(New York/Washington) -- At a meeting of more than 100 senior government officials at the United Nations to discuss pathways to bring the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force, a diverse set of nongovernmental nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament leaders, as well as former government officials and diplomats are calling on all states to translate their words of support for the Treaty into concrete action.

In the statement to be delivered at the conference on behalf of civil society by Jonathan Granoff, president of the Global Security Institute, the nongovernmental experts said: 

"If both the letter and spirit of the CTBT are adhered to, then it will help curtail improvements in existing arsenals and lower the prestige of nuclear weapons programs. It strengthens the pursuit of international order based on the rule of law. However, the promise and benefits of the CTBT remain unfulfilled because the eight key states have failed to sign and/or ratify the treaty. It is time to act. Seventeen years have already passed by since the treaty was concluded. This is already the eighth Article XIV Conference on Facilitating CTBT Entry Into Force."

The civil society statement urged the conference to "help produce what previous conferences have not: a serious diplomatic action plan for getting the remaining holdout states on board."

The full text of the statement can be found here.

"Until the remaining eight Annex II outlier states finally ratify the treaty, entry into force will be delayed and the door to the renewal of nuclear testing will remain ajar," Granoff told the conference.

Eight more states including—China, the DPRK, Egypt, India, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, and the United States—must ratify before the CTBT can formally enter into force. To date, 183 states have signed the Treaty (including China and the United States) and 161 have ratified.

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The Arms Control Association (ACA) is an independent membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding and effective policies to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons: nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, as well as certain types of conventional weapons that pose a threat to noncombatants. ACA publishes the monthly journal Arms Control Today.

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(New York/Washington) -- At a meeting of more than 100 senior government officials at the United Nations to discuss pathways to bring the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force, a diverse set of nongovernmental nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament leaders, as well as former government officials and diplomats are calling on all states to translate their words of support for the Treaty into concrete action.

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