ACA Logo
Adjust Text Size: Small Text Size Default Text Size Large Text Size

Country Profiles

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: The United States

Updated: April 2014

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that the United States subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of the United States, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1975

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

-The Senate rejected the accord Oct. 13, 1999. [1]

1996

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Recognized as one of five nuclear-weapon states.

1968

1970

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to two of the five protocols.[2]

1982

1995

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1967

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

1990

1992

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Stockpiles some 10.4 million antipersonnel landmines. [3]

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

1980

1982

CPPNM 2005 Amendment [4]

- - -

- - -

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

- - -

 


 

Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Signed in 1998, entered into force in January 2009.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Co-founder with Russia.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Founder.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: The United States has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.

Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

In the early 1970s, the United States destroyed its entire stockpile of biological weapons, which had been developed between 1943 and 1969. In recent years, the United States has steeply increased funding for biodefense programs, which some independent analysts argue could also lend themselves to offensive weapons research and development. [5]

In 2001, the Bush administration opposed and killed an effort dating back to 1995 to augment the Biological Weapons Convention with a legally binding verification protocol. U.S. officials said the protocol would be too burdensome on legitimate governments and private biodefense programs, while at the same time failing to deter cheaters. The Obama administration has not changed this basic position.

Chemical Weapons:

Behind Russia, the United States declared the second-largest stockpile of chemical agents. In October 2010, the United States announced that it had destroyed 24,488 tons of chemical materials, representing 80% of its original stockpile. On January 21, 2011 the United States completed the destruction of the Deseret Chemical Depot’s chemical weapons stockpile, hitting the milestone of destroying 90% of its stockpile. [6] However, due to environmental concerns requiring that materials at certain facilities be neutralized rather than incinerated, the United States does not expect to complete destruction until 2021, nine years after the Chemical Weapons Convention deadline. The December 1, 2011 meeting of the states party to this treaty reaffirmed the April 2012 deadline, but did not specify that countries that failed to meet it would be in violation of the pact. [7]

Conventional Weapons Trade:

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the world’s preeminent conventional arms seller. A 2009 Congressional Research Service study reported that, over the previous eight years, the United States agreed to $166.3 billion in global arms sales. This is more than double that of the second-largest exporter, Russia, which agreed to arms sales worth $74 billion over the same time period. [8] In 2010, the United States again ranked first, and made $21.3 billion in worldwide transfer agreements. [9]

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

In May 2010, for the first time, the U.S. government revealed the size of its active nuclear stockpile. It announced that as of September 2009, it possessed 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons. According to the latest official New START declaration, the United States deploys 1,585 strategic nuclear warheads on 778 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that the United States arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads is approximately 500. Additional numbers of warheads are held in reserve. Thousands more are retired and await dismantlement. Under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the US will reduce its deployed warheads to 1550 by 2018.

Delivery Systems

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

The United States Air Force fields 450 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). The Minuteman III has a range of over 6,000 miles. Each missile is equipped with either a 300 kt W87 warhead, or a 335 kt W78 warhead. In the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Obama administration announced its plans to “de-MIRV” the existing missiles, removing the second and third warhead deployed on some of the Minuteman IIIs. Under New START, the United States will reduced to 400 deployed ICBMs.

Submarines

The U.S. Navy currently has 14 Ohio-class submarines, two of which are undergoing overhaul of their nuclear reactors at any given time. The remaining 12 are available for deployment, with seven submarines based out of Bangor, Washington and five in Kings Bay, Georgia. The submarines have 24 missile tubes for the Trident II SLBMs, but under New START, only 20 will be operational. The Ohio-class submarines have a life-span of 42 years. The Department of Defense is currently developing a new ballistic missile submarine to enter into service as the Ohio-class submarines retire.

All Ohio-class subs carry the Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The Trident II was first deployed in 1990.  The Trident II missile holds up to eight warheads, and carries the W88, a 475 kt warhead, and the 100 kt W76 warhead. The U.S. fields a total of 288 Trident II missiles with about 1,152 warheads, which will drop to 240 missiles and about 1,100 warheads under New START. A life extension program is expected to continue the Trident II’s deployment into 2042.[10] The Trident II will soon be the only MIRV’d strategic missile remaining in the nuclear arsenal.[11]

Strategic Bombers

The United States Air Force currently operates 76 B-52H Stratofortress bombers, and 18 B-2A Spirit bombers that can be armed with either nuclear or conventional weapons, making them dual-capable. The Air Force will deploy 60 nuclear-capable bombers under New START.

The B-2 is capable of carrying sixteen gravity bombs. The B-52H is capable of carrying eight gravity bombs, or twenty cruise missiles. Unlike ICBM’s or SLBM’s, strategic bombers can be visibly forward deployed as an extended deterrent.[12] In addition to strategic bombers, the U.S. also employs several fighter-bombers that serve in a dual-capable role. Historically the F-16 Fighting Falcon was the cornerstone of this aspect of nuclear deterrence, carrying the B-61 gravity bomb. However, the new stealth F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, will replace the F-16 as the U.S. Air Force’s primary nuclear capable fighter-bomber.[13] The Air Force is seeking 80 to 100 new bombers for the mid-2020’s. [14]

Nuclear Doctrine
In the 2010 NPR, the United States announced that it “will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.” It reserved the right to make any adjustments to this assurance “that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat.” It was not prepared to make a declaration that the “sole purpose” of its nuclear weapons was to deter a nuclear attack, but added that it would “work to establish conditions under which such a policy could be safely adopted.”

The United States has conducted 1,030 total nuclear tests, which is more than any other state—indeed, it’s more than all other states combined. The first test occurred July 16, 1945, and the most recent test took place Sept. 23, 1992.

The United States is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons against another country, dropping two bombs (one apiece) on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

In President Barack Obama’s April 2009 speech in Prague, he declared that it was the policy of the United States “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Fissile Material

The United States has publicly declared that it no longer produces fissile material for weapons purposes. The United States halted the production of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for weapons in 1964 and ceased plutonium separation for weapons in 1992. As of 2011, U.S. fissile stockpiles for weapons total about 38 declared metric tons of plutonium and 260 declared metric tons of HEU. [15] Under an agreement finalized in 2000 with Russia, the United States is committed to disposing of 34 metric tons of excess weapons-grade plutonium. The project was delayed for several years, but in April 2010 the United States and Russia signed a protocol that amended and updated the 2000 agreement. Both countries now aim to begin actual disposition in 2018.

In April 2010, the United States hosted the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC. Participants included 47 countries, 38 of which were represented at the head of state or head of government level, and the heads of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the European Union. At the summit, the participants unanimously adopted the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material in the next four years. The United States also attended the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, on March 26-27, 2012. Washington will host a fourth summit in 2016.


Proliferation Record

A close relationship exists between the U.S. and British nuclear weapons programs, including U.S. supply of the Trident SLBM to the United Kingdom.

The United States is also the only nation known to station its nuclear weapons in other countries. Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey all host U.S. tactical nuclear gravity bombs as part of NATO nuclear sharing agreements. These estimated 200 weapons remain under U.S. custody during peacetime, but some could be released to U.S. allies for delivery in times of war.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

In 2002, the United States and Russia concluded the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT). Under SORT, the two countries agreed to reduce their operationally deployed strategic nuclear forces to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by Dec. 31, 2012. However, the treaty expires that same day, freeing up both countries to expand their arsenals afterwards if they so choose. In February 2009, the U.S. government completed its reductions to 2,200 strategic deployed weapons, meeting the upper limit under SORT over three years early.

In addition, SORT did not include verification measures. Instead, it relied on the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty’s (START) verification regime, which provided for the United States and Russia to exchange information, visit, and monitor each other’s nuclear weapons complexes. START expired in December 2009.

In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a successor to the original START accord. The new treaty, known as New START, requires that both sides reduce their arsenals to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons on no more than 700 ICMBs, SLMBs, and bombers within seven years of the treaty’s entry into force. In addition, it restores many of the verification measures from the original START accord. The treaty went into force on February 5, 2011. As of September 2012, the U.S. had 1,722 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. [16]

The United States is party to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, but not to the 1999 Adapted CFE Treaty. The United States has led NATO in demanding that Russia withdraw its remaining military forces from Georgia and Moldova as a condition for ratification of the Adapted Treaty, which would replace the original treaty’s bloc and regional arms limits with national weapon ceilings.

The United States is also party to another European security instrument, the Open Skies Treaty, which facilitates unarmed reconnaissance flights over the territories of all states-parties.

The United States has signed and ratified protocols stating its intent to respect and not threaten the use of nuclear weapons against states-parties to the Latin American nuclear-weapon free zone treaty. It has signed but not ratified similar protocols to the African and South Pacific zones. It has not signed the protocols for the Central Asian or Southeast Asian zones.

The United States has been a leading proponent of negotiating a fissile material cutoff treaty at the 65-member Conference on Disarmament (CD). During the Bush administration, however, the United States dropped its support for seeking an “effectively verifiable” cutoff, claiming that a verification regime would be time-consuming to negotiate, costly to implement, and ultimately imperfect, potentially impinging on the national security interests of law-abiding states while not deterring determined cheaters. This contributed to the deadlock at the CD, which was unable to agree on an agenda throughout the entirety of the Bush administration’s tenure. In 2009, the Obama administration affirmed its support for a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty. This was reiterated in a joint statement with the President of the Russian Federation Vladamir Putin on June 18, 2012. However, countries such as Pakistan have prevented negotiations on such a treaty from making progress, and as of this writing the stalemate at the CD continues.

Within the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), the United States has joined with many other countries to promote new restrictions on the use of anti-vehicle mines, but that effort has been blocked by China, Pakistan, and Russia. The United States announced in June 2007 that it was dropping its opposition to negotiations by CCW states on restricting cluster munitions. But the United States said it has no position on the potential outcome of the negotiations except that an agreement should “protect civilians while taking into account security requirements.” The United States declined to join a Norwegian-led effort outside the CCW to negotiate a treaty to ban cluster munitions that “cause unacceptable harm to civilians.”

In 2009, the United States declared its support for an arms trade treaty “that contains the highest possible, legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons.” [17] Thomas Countryman, the assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation reaffirmed the Obama administration’s support for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on April 16, 2012 when he said that “this agreement would be an important addition to global security and stability.” [18] Talks at the United Nations to create an ATT are being held in July 2012.

Although the United States has elected not to join the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, the United States is not known to have used antipersonnel landmines since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In 2004, the United States announced that it would phase out the use of any type of mine lacking self-destruct or self-deactivation features. Washington has also led the world in financial contributions to global demining efforts.

In July 2005, the United States launched an initiative with India to repeal most U.S. and multilateral civilian nuclear trade restrictions on India. In 2006, the U.S. Congress amended its own domestic legislation to allow nuclear trade with India to proceed. The two governments later concluded a “123 Agreement,” which was approved by Congress and signed into law in October 2008. The previous month, India received a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group. In 2011 the United States introduced a “Food for Thought” paper on the possibility of allowing India to join the NSG. However, the United States and India are still overcoming roadblocks to implement the 2008 agreement. The United States led a 2003 invasion of Iraq citing its alleged pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. No evidence has been discovered to support these allegations.


ENDNOTES

1. The Senate could vote on the treaty again. The George W. Bush administration did not support the treaty. Since taking office, President Obama has repeatedly pledged to secure the Senate’s advice and consent on the treaty, but no action has been taken thus far.

2. The United States has not ratified Protocol III on Incendiary Weapons, Protocol IV on Blinding Lasers, and Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War. It also has not approved an amendment that extends the convention’s application beyond just interstate conflicts to intrastate conflicts.

3. International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, July 2006, 1,236 pp.

4. This legislation is currently waiting for Senate approval

5. Roffey, Roger, Hart, John, and Kuhlau, Frida, “Crucial Guidance: A Code of Conduct for Biodefense Scientists,” Arms Control Today, September 2006, p. 17.

6. U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, Army Agency Completes Mission to Destroy Chemical Weapons, January 23, 2012.

7. Horner, Daniel. “Accord Reached on CWC’s 2012 Deadline.” Arms Control Today, January/February 2012, p. 38.

8. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2002-2009, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2010, 84 pp.

9. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011, 89 pp.

10. Missile Threat, "UGM-133 Trident D-5." Last modified 10 20, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013. http://missilethreat.com/missiles/ugm-133-trident-d-5/.

11. Designation-Systems.net, "Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles: UGM-133." Last modified January 18, 2008. Accessed June 3, 2013. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-133.html.

12. Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review Report, April 2010.  June 2013, 72pp.

13. Kristense, Hans. "Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons."Federation of American Scientists. Special Report No 3, May 2012, 86pp. http://www.fas.org/_docs/Non_Strategic_Nuclear_Weapons.pdf (accessed June 3, 2013).

14. Reed, John. DoDBuzz, "AFA: New bomber program 'underwa'y." Last modified February 24, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013. http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/02/24/afa-new-bomber-program-underway/.

15. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report, 2011, January 2011, 49pp.

16. "U.S. Lowers Nuclear Deployments Under Treaty," Global Security Newswire, June 4, 2012,http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/us-slashes-nuclear-deployments-under-new-start/

17. Clinton, Hillary Rodham, “U.S. Support for an Arms Trade Treaty,” U.S. Department of State, October 14, 2009, http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/10/130573.htm.

18. Countryman, Thomas, “Positions for the United States in the Upcoming Arms Trade Treaty Conference,” U.S. Department of State, April 16, 2012,  http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/188002.htm

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Russia

Updated: April 2014

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that Russia subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of Russia, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1975

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

1996

2000

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Recognized as one of five nuclear-weapon states.

1968

1970

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to four of the five protocols. [1]

1981

1984

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

1990

1992

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1967

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Stockpiles some 26.5 million antipersonnel landmines. [2]

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

1980

1983

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

- - -

2008

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

2007


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member, but Russia claims to adhere to the group’s rules and control list.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Signed in 2000, entered into force in 2007.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Co-founder with the United States.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Participant.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: Russia has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.

Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

Despite ratifying the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Soviet Union apparently maintained an extensive offensive germ weapons program, including research into plague, anthrax, smallpox, tularemia, glanders, and hemorrhagic fever. In an August 2005 report, the U.S. Department of State asserted that “the United States is concerned that Russia maintains a mature offensive [biological weapons] program.” [3] The report noted that “a substantial amount of dual-use research conducted in recent years has legitimate biodefense applicability, but also could be used to further an offensive program.” Russia has disputed the allegations.

In its 2011 compliance report, the State Department said that it had no indications that Russian activities “were conducted for purposes inconsistent with the BWC.” However, it also stated that it could not confirm that Russia had fulfilled its obligations under the BWC. The lack of transparency surrounding this program prevents the U.S. from reaching more concrete conclusions. Russia claims that it is in compliance with the BWC, and the reports notes that the two countries were involved in discussions over this topic. [4]

Chemical Weapons:

Upon entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Russia declared that it possessed approximately 40,000 metric tons of chemical agents, the largest amount in the world. As of July 2010, Russia had destroyed roughly 48 percent of this stockpile, and is required under the CWC to eliminate the rest by 2012. However, Russia has stated that it will miss this deadline and is currently aiming to complete elimination by 2015. At the December 1, 2011 meeting of the states party to the CWC reaffirmed the April 2012 deadline, but did not specify that countries that failed to meet it would be found in violation of the pact. [5]

A dispute lingers over whether Russia has fully declared all of its chemical weapons-related facilities and past production. The State Department’s 2011 Condition Report on the Compliance With the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction stated that it was “unable to ascertain whether Russia has met its obligations for declaration of its CWPFs, CW development facilities, and CW stockpiles, and whether Russia is complying with the CWC-established criteria for destruction and verification of its CW,” although the report also noted that the US has “ascertained that Russia is now destroying CW agenty hydrolysis reaction masses at its operating CWDFs.” [6]

Conventional Weapons Trade:

Russia trails only the United States in supplying conventional arms abroad. Between 2002 and 2009, Russia committed to selling approximately $74 billion in weapons to other states. [7] In 2010, Russia made $7.8 billion in global arms transfer agreements, which was a decline from 2009 when they made $12.8 billion in such agreements. [8] The leading long-term purchasers of Russian arms are India and China. In addition, in 2006 Algeria and Venezuela sealed multi-billion dollar weapons deals with Russia. Russian arms sales to Venezuela increased further in 2009, after Russia agreed to loan $2.2 billion to Venezuela for the purchase of tanks and advanced anti-aircraft missiles. Western governments have often criticized Russia for not being discriminating enough in its arms transactions, citing the dramatic increase in sales to Venezuela, in addition to transfers to Iran and Sudan. In 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Russia to stop selling arms to the Assad regime in Syria, which the international community has condemned for its brutal crackdown on protests calling for reform. [9]

Russia is participating at the negotiations at the UN in July 2012 to draft an Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to regulate arms sales.

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

According to the latest official New START declaration, Russia deploys 1,512 strategic nuclear warheads on 498 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), and strategic bombers. In 2013 the Federation of American Scientists estimated that Russia also possesses 1,800 tactical nuclear bombs, with another 2,700 strategic warheads in reserve, and additional numbers of warheads awaiting dismantlement [10].

Delivery Systems

Missiles

  • Ballistic Missiles: Russia has an extensive, albeit aging, force of silo- and mobile-land based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). As of 2012, Russia’s ICBMs include three variants of the RS-12M, carrying a single 800 kt warhead; the RS-18 carrying six 400 kt multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV); the RS-20 carrying ten 500-800 kt MIRV warheads; and the RS-24 carrying six 100kt MIRV warheads. All of Russia’s ICBMs were developed and entered service from the 1980’s to the 1990’s with the exception of the RS-24 which entered service in 2010. Russia’s land-based strategic missile force consists of 322 missiles capable of delivering up to 1,087 warheads. In 2011, Russia planned to buy 36 strategic ballistic missiles. [11] Russia also possesses mobile, tactical surface-to-surface ballistic missiles that have a range of up to 200 miles. This includes Scud-B/SS-1c Mod 1, Scud-B/SS-1c Mod 2, SS-21, SS-21 Mod 2, and SS-21 Mod 3, SS-26/Iskander, and SS-26 Stone/Iskader-E. In 2012 Moscow announced the successful test of an ICBM capable of penetrating the U.S.’ missile defense programs. This response came after news of NATO’s planned missile shield in Europe. [12]

  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles: Russia’s other long range missile systems are the RSM-50, RSM-54, and RSM-56 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). The RSM-50 was deployed in 1978, and the RSM-54 was deployed in 2007. The next-generation RSM-56, also known as the Bulava missile, completed a successful flight test in December 2011. This was the 18th test of the Bulava missile, and former Russian President Dimitry Medvedev said the Bulava’s cycle of flight testing was complete and the missile was ready to be put into service.[13] The RSM-50 missile is equipped with three 50 kt MIRVs. The RSM-54 missile is equipped with four 100 kt MIRVs. The RSM-56 missile is equipped with six 100 kt MIRVs. As of 2012, Russia possessed 48 RSM-50 missiles with 144 warheads, and 96 RSM-54 missiles with 384 warheads. Russia plans to produce 32 RSM-56 missiles with 192 warheads for a total of 144 SLBMs capable of delivering 528 warheads.[14]

  • Cruise Missiles: The Russian military possesses three types of air-launched cruise missiles and two submarine-launched cruise missile systems. In 2011, Russia planned to purchase 20 strategic cruise missiles. [15] In 2012, Russia and India announced plans to work together to build a hypersonic cruise missile. [16]

Under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Moscow is barred from possessing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Russia has abided by this prohibition, but the Kremlin also has suggested it might withdraw from the accord because its neighbors are acquiring types of missiles that are forbidden to Russia. In October 2007, the United States and Russia called upon other countries to forswear missiles banned by the INF Treaty. Russia has not withdrawn from the INF Treaty.

Submarines

  • Russia’s strategic submarine force has is now undergoing significant upgrades. The core of the force is comprised of seven Delta IV submarines armed with 16 RSM-54 missiles each. They are part of Russia’s Northern Fleet based at Yagelnaya Bay on the Kola Peninsula.[17] Russia also has three Delta III submarines as part of the Pacific Fleet based on the Kamchatka Peninsula.[18] Each vessel is armed with 16 RSM-50 missiles. As part of Russia’s military rearmament program, the Russian Navy will take delivery of three Borey class, and five upgraded Borey-A class submarines by 2020. These eight vessels will serve as the backbone of Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent, eventually allowing the Delta III’s to be retired. The first Borey class submarine, the Yury Dolgoruky, entered service on January 10, 2013 as part of the Northern Fleet. The third and last Borey vessel will start sea-trials during the summer of 2013; while the first of the improved Borey-A class, the Knyaz Vladimir, was laid down in July 2012 and is still under construction.[19] Once completed, the eight Borey vessels will each carry 16 RSM-56 Bulava missiles capable of delivering up to 768 warheads.

Strategic Bombers

  • The Russian Air Force currently operates 28 Tu-95 MS6 long-range bombers, 31 Tu-95 MS16 long-range bombers, and 13 Tu-160 supersonic long-range bombers. All three aircraft are categorized as strategic heavy bombers and are limited by the New START treaty. The Tu-95 MS6 is capable of carrying 6 nuclear Kh-55 strategic cruise missiles, while the Tu-95 MS16 is capable of carrying up to 16 nuclear Kh-55 strategic cruise missiles. Alternatively, either version of the Tu-95 can be armed with over 25,000 pounds of bombs. The Tu-160 can carry up to 12 Kh-55 cruise missiles, which are configured slightly differently than the Tu-95’s cruise missiles.[20] The 72 strategic bombers do not regularly carry nuclear payloads. Combined, the bombers can deliver up to 820 nuclear weapons. The Russian Air Force also operates a multipurpose medium-range supersonic bomber, the Tu-22M, which is considered a tactical nuclear delivery platform of various types of cruise missiles. The Tu-22M is not limited by the New START treaty. Russia has begun studying designs for a next-generation strategic bomber meant to replace the entire fleet of Tu-95’s, Tu-160’s, and Tu-22M’s. The new bomber program is expected to develop a prototype by the early 2020’s.[21]

Nuclear Doctrine

Under Russia’s standing Military Doctrine, published in February 2010, “The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and (or) its allies, as well as in response to aggression against the Russian Federation that utilizes conventional weapons that threatens the very existence of the state.”

All told, the Soviet Union conducted 715 nuclear tests. The first test occurred Aug. 29, 1949, and the last test took place Oct. 24, 1990. Russia has not conducted any tests since it inherited the Soviet Union’s nuclear stockpile following the Soviet breakup.

Fissile Material

Russia has publicly declared that it no longer produces fissile material (highly enriched uranium [HEU] and plutonium) for weapons purposes. The Kremlin announced a halt to HEU production for weapons in 1989 and the cessation of plutonium production for weapons in 1994. In April 2010 Russia closed its last plutonium production facility, although it has not discounted a return to producing separated plutonium for fast-breeder reactors in the future. As with Russia’s warhead stockpile, there is a great deal of uncertainty about its holdings of fissile material. According to an independent report released in early 2012, Russia’s HEU stockpile is estimated at 737 tons, with a margin of error of 120 tons. Approximately 20 tons are designated for civilian use. The plutonium stockpile is estimated at 176 tons, with an 8 ton margin of error. The weapons stockpile is estimated at 128 tons and 48 tons are declared for civilian use. [22]

Russia is implementing a program to downblend 500 metric tons of Russian excess weapons grade HEU into a reactor fuel unsuitable for bombs that it will then sell to the United States for light water reactor fuel. That project is scheduled to be completed in 2013. As of September 2011, 433 of the 500 tons have been blended down. A second program that the United States funds will cover the downblending of 17 tons of non-weapons HEU by 2015. As of early 2011, Russia completed the blending down of 13 tons.

In addition, under a separate agreement with the United States, Russia is committed to disposing of 34 metric tons of excess plutonium. The project was delayed for several years, but in April 2010 the two nations signed a protocol that amended and updated the 2000 agreement. Both countries now aim to begin disposition in 2018.


Proliferation Record

The United States and independent analyses have long cited Russia as a key supplier of nuclear- and missile-related goods and technology to a variety of countries, including states of proliferation concern such as Iran and Syria. In response, the United States often levied sanctions on Russian entities believed to be involved in such proliferation activities. [23] Beginning in the mid-2000s, however, the number and frequency of Russian entities placed under U.S. proliferation sanctions declined, possibly as a result of increasing Russian commitment to controlling sensitive exports. Moreover, in recent years, U.S. officials have also cited Russian cooperation addressing proliferation concerns, in particular Iran. [24] In spite of this cooperation, Russia still remains a source of illicit sensitive technology, particularly in regard to missile proliferation. According to a 2010 State Department Report, Russian entities “continued to supply sensitive missile-related items, technology, and expertise to several programs of concern” from 2004-2008. [25] The report added, however, that “available information” did not indicate that Russia “acted inconsistently with the MTCR.”

The vast former Soviet biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons complexes, including their former scientists, are also seen as a potential source of arms, materials, and know-how for other regimes or non-state actors. Consequently, the United States and other countries have many programs dedicated to mitigating this potential threat by helping Russia, as well as other former Soviet states, secure or destroy facilities, materials, and weapon systems, as well as gainfully employ former scientists in non-arms related work.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

In 2002, the United States and Russia concluded the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT). Under SORT, the two countries are supposed to reduce their operationally deployed strategic nuclear forces to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by Dec. 31, 2012. However, the treaty expires that same day, freeing up both countries to expand their arsenals afterwards if they so choose. In February 2009, the U.S. government completed its reductions to 2,200 strategic deployed weapons, meeting the upper limit under SORT over three years early.

In addition, SORT did not include verification measures. Instead, it relied on the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty’s (START) verification regime, which provided for the United States and Russia to exchange information, visit, and monitor each other’s nuclear weapons complexes. START expired in December 2009.

In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a successor to the original START accord. The new treaty, known as New START, entered into force on February 5, 2011 and requires that both sides reduce their arsenals to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons on no more than 700 ICMBs, SLMBs, and bombers, within seven years. In addition, it would restore many of the verification measures from the original START accord. [26]

The Russian government officially suspended its implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty on December 12, 2008. Moscow contends that NATO countries, led by the United States, are unjustifiably delaying ratification of the 1999 Adapted CFE Treaty and thereby endangering Russian security. NATO members have stated that they will not ratify the Adapted CFE Treaty until Russia withdraws its military forces from Georgia and Moldova; the Kremlin contends that these issues should not be linked. Meanwhile, Russia continues to implement another European security instrument, the Open Skies Treaty, which facilitates unarmed reconnaissance flights over the territories of all states-parties.

The Russian government has signed and ratified protocols stating its intent to respect and not threaten the use of nuclear weapons against states-parties to the Latin America and South Pacific nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. Russia has signed and ratified in 2011 Protocol I and II for the African zone. It has neither signed nor ratified the protocols for the Central Asian and Southeast Asian zones.

At the 65-member Conference on Disarmament (CD), Russia has supported negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT) and a treaty on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. Russia and China jointly submitted the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (PPWT) to the CD on February 12, 2008. Under the Bush administration, the United States opposed any negotiation on an outer space treaty and dropped its support for an “effectively verifiable” FMCT, which prevented the CD from forming a work plan. The Obama administration changed this policy, and has actively pursued the negotiation of a verifiable FMCT. These efforts resulted in the adoption of a work plan at the CD on May 28, 2009 which included discussions of both an FMCT and a PPWT. Despite some initial progress, negotiations on these issues broke down – principally due to Pakistan – and show no immediate prospect for improvement. In August 2011, the P5 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) met in Geneva to discuss how to break the stalemate at the CD over a FMCT, however no agreement was reached on to pursue negotiations outside the CD. [27]

Within the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), Russia has resisted a U.S.-sponsored initiative to negotiate restrictions on the use of anti-vehicle landmines, but reluctantly consented to CCW negotiations on cluster munitions. Russia has neither signed nor ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).

Russia participated in both the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC and the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul, South Korea.

Russia supported six UN Security Council Resolutions as part of international efforts to encourage Iran to address concerns about its nuclear program. In 2011,however, Russia blocked further UN sanctions against Iran in the Security Council. Russia also participates in the ongoing P5+1 talks with Iran, which hope to resolve international concerns over its nuclear program. These negotiations are ongoing and have not yet produced an agreement. Russia has stated its support for Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear energy.

In 2010, the first international nuclear fuel bank opened. It is located at a uranium enrichment facility in Angarsk, Siberia. [28] Russia supported the creation of a fuel bank and offered to host it to help persuade countries to forgo development of their own national nuclear fuel production capabilities, which also could be used to produce nuclear-bomb material.


ENDNOTES

1. Russia has not ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War. It also has not approved an amendment that extends the convention’s application beyond just interstate conflicts to intrastate conflicts.

2. International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, October 2009, 1,253 pp. According to this report, Russia was one of only two states to use antipersonnel land mines in 2008-2009, the other being Myanmar.

3. U.S. Department of State, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” August 2005, 108 pp.

4. U.S. Department of State, 2011 Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, August 2011, 35 pp.

5. Horner, Daniel. “Accord Reached on CWC’s 2012 Deadline.” Arms Control Today, January/February 2012, p. 38.

6. U.S. Department of State, Condition (10) (C) Report: Compliance With The Convention On The Prohibition Of The Development, Production, Stockpiling And Use of Chemical Weapons And On Their Destruction, August 2011, 16 pp.

7. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2002-2009, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2010, 84 pp.

8. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011, 89 pp.

9. Lakshmanan, Indira A.R. and Nasseri, Ladane. “Clinton Calls On Russia To End Arms Sales To Syria.”Bloomberg News, June 13, 2012. http://origin-www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-13/russia-rejects-clinton-accusation-of-arms-for-syria-repression.html

10. Kristensen, Hans M. “Status of World Nuclear Forces.” Federation of American Scientists, 2011. http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/nukestatus.html

11. “Russian military to buy 36 ICBMs, 2 missile subs in 2011.” RIA Novosti, March 3, 2011.http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110318/163075432.html

12. Kramer, Andrew E. “Russia Tests New Missile to Counter U.S. Shield.” The New York Times, May 24, 2012, p. A10.

13. Robert Norris, and Hans Kristensen, "Russian nuclear forces, 2012," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68, no. 87 (2012): 92, 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

14. Robert Norris, and Hans Kristensen, "Russian nuclear forces, 2012," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68, no. 87 (2012): 89, 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

15. “Russian military to buy 36 ICBMs, 2 missile subs in 2011.” RIA Novosti, March 3, 2011.http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110318/163075432.html

16. “India and Russia to Develop Hypersonic Cruise Missile.” RIA Novosti, March 30, 2012.http://en.rian.ru/world/20120330/172478672.html

17. Kristense, Hans, and Robert Norris. "Russian nuclear forces, 2012." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. no. 87 (2012): 91. 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

18. Ibid

19. “Later Borey Class Subs to Carry Only 16 Missiles” RIA Novosti, February 20, 2013.http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20130220/179588098.html

20. Podvig, Pavel “Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces,” 2001

21. Robert Norris, and Hans Kristensen, "Russian nuclear forces, 2012," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68, no. 93 (2012): 92, 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

22. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report 2011, January 2012, 49 pp.

23. “Nonproliferation Sanctions,” U.S. Department of State, page visited July 2012.http://www.state.gov/t/isn/c15231.htm

24. Nikitin, Mary Beth, U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, July 9, 2010.

25. U.S. Department of State, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, July 2010, 95 pp.

26. “U.S. Lowers Nuclear Deployments Under Treaty,” Global Security Newswire, June 4, 2012,http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/us-slashes-nuclear-deployments-under-new-start/

27. Collina, Tom Z. “P5 Struggles to Unblock FMCT Talks.” Arms Control Today, October 2011, p. 33

28. “First International Atomic Fuel Bank Opens in Russia,” Global Security Newswire, December 2, 2010, http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/first-international-atomic-fuel-bank-opens-in-russia/

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Iran

Updated: January 2014

This profile details which major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that Iran subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of Iran, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s Website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1973

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

1996

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

1968

1970

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

- - -

- - -

Outer Space Treaty

1967

- - -

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)*

- - -

- - -

CPPNM 2005 Amendment*

- - -

- - -

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

- - -

- - -

*Participated as observer


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Not a member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Not a member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Not a member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Signed an additional protocol on Dec. 18, 2003. Iran submitted an initial declaration consistent with the protocol in 2004 and abided by the protocol for a brief period despite the fact that it has not entered into force. But in February 2006 Iran ended its voluntary implementation in response to adoption of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolution referring Tehran to the UN Security Council. The IAEA and UN Security Council have since called on Iran to ratify and implement the measure.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Not a participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Not a participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Not a participant.

UN Security Council Resolution 1540: Iran has filed the requested reports on its activities to fulfill the resolution.


Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:
The United States maintains that Iran’s biotechnology infrastructure gives it the ability to produce at least small quantities of biological weapons agents for offensive purposes. According to a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency report, Iran has previously conducted offensive biological weapons agent research and development and continues to seek dual-use biotechnology, which may support legitimate biotechnology activities, an offensive biological weapons program, or both. [1] U.S. officials have accused Iran of “probably” pursuing an offensive biological weapons capability in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention. [2] Iran denies that allegation.

Chemical Weapons:
Having suffered chemical weapon attacks during its eight-year war with Iraq, Iranian officials frequently speak about the dangers such arms pose. The United States, however, has sanctioned companies for providing dual-use chemicals to Iran.  An unclassified U.S. intelligence report says that “Iran maintains the capability to produce chemical warfare agents” as well as the ability “of weaponizing [chemical weapons] agents in a variety of delivery systems.” [3] Although an option exists for states-parties to request a challenge inspection of alleged weapons sites under the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention, no state-party, including the United States, has called for such an inspection in Iran.

Missiles:

  • Ballistic Missiles: Iran is the only country not in possession of nuclear weapons to have produced or flight-tested ballistic missiles with ranges exceeding 2,000 kilometers. The Iranian missile program is largely based on North Korean and Russian designs and has benefited from Chinese technical assistance. With around 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, Iran has one of the largest deployed ballistic missile forces in the Middle East.[4] Its most sophisticated deployed ballistic missile is the liquid-fueled Shahab-3. Based on the North Korean Nodong missile, the Shahab-3 has a range of about 1,300 kilometers. Variations of the Shahab-3, including the Ghadr-1, are reported to have a range of almost 2,000 kilometers. Iran has made progress in developing and testing solid-fueled missile technologies, which could significantly increase the mobility of Iran’s missile force. Iran first tested a two-stage solid fuel-propelled missile, the Sajjil-2, which has a reported range of roughly 2,000 kilometers, in 2007. It conducted several more tests through February 2011. If Iran attempts to develop a nuclear bomb, it will most likely use the Sejjil as a delivery vehicle.[5] Recent reports, however, indicate that sanctions are preventing Iran from developing the capacity to domestically produce solid-fueled motors.  This may also account for Iran's not having recently tested the Sejjil II.[6] In addition, a 2013 report by a UN panel of experts charged with overseeing the implementation of sanctions on Iran noted that the Sejjil II has not been sighted in over a year. Iran has also developed a two-stage, liquid-fueled, space launch vehicle (SLV), the Safir. Between February 2009 and February 2012 Iran successfully launched four satellites into space using the Safir SLV. It is believed that Iran is also developing a larger space launch vehicle, the Simorgh, which has yet to be tested.  A 2009 report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) assessed that the Safir "can serve as a test bed for long-range ballistic missile technologies" and could serve as an IRBM if converted to a ballistic missile.
  • Cruise Missiles: Iran has acquired a variety of anti-ship cruise missiles, both through foreign sources and domestic production. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko confirmed in 2005 that Iran illegally procured six Kh-55 cruise missiles from Ukraine four years earlier. The Kh-55 is an air-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of up to 3,000 kilometers. China has also provided Iran with cruise missiles and technology.  A 2011 report from the Director of National Intelligence stated that despite export control legislation, Chinese firms and individuals continued to supply Iran with missile technology.[7] Iranian made missiles include the Nasr-1, claimed to be capable of destroying warships and military targets up to 3,000 tons. Iranian officials have also announced the large scale production and deployment of short-range cruise missiles including Zafar and Qader missiles. With a range of about 300 kilometers and capable of carrying a 1,000 kg warhead, the Khalid Farzh is Iran's most advanced missile.

Nuclear Weapons:
During the latter half of 2002, the IAEA began investigating two secret Iranian nuclear facilities, a heavy-water production plant near Arak and a gas centrifuge uranium-enrichment facility near Natanz. Since that time, the agency has discovered a series of clandestine nuclear activities, some of which violated Iran’s safeguards agreement with the agency. Much of Iran’s uranium-enrichment program is based on equipment and designs acquired through former Pakistani nuclear official A.Q. Khan’s secret supply network.

After the revelations of Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom launched negotiations with Iran to address international concerns about the intent and scope of its nuclear program. These negotiations collapsed in 2005. Subsequently, the IAEA Board of Governors declared Iran in noncompliance with its safeguards obligations and referred the matter to the UN Security Council. In 2006, China, Russia, and the United States joined the three European countries in diplomatic efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program. The six-country bloc is generally known as the P5+1, comprising the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany.

Since 2006, the Security Council has adopted a number of resolutions calling on Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment-related activities and cooperate fully with the IAEA investigation. In response to Iran’s refusal to comply with these demands, the council has introduced four rounds of sanctions targeting Iranian entities and individuals believed to be involved in Iran’s proliferation-related activities.

Iran continues to expand its uranium enrichment program and has not fully disclosed the extent of its nuclear-related activities. It relies on a variant of Pakistan's P-1 centrifuge, which is known to be crash-prone and unreliable. Iran has been developing more advanced designs capable of enriching uranium three times faster, but its efforts have been hampered by sanctions that prevent Iran from importing the necessary materials that it cannot produce domestically, such as a high-quality carbon fiber. In February 2013, the IAEA reported that Iran had begun installing IR-2M centrifgues at its Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz. Experts assess that when operational, these machines will be 3-4 times more efficient that the IR-1 models. Other advanced centrifuges are undergoing testing. In September 2009, the revelation of Fordow, a secret nuclear facility under construction near Qom, deepened international suspicions about Iran’s uranium enrichment activities. Iran has also refused to provide the IAEA with timely design information and access to nuclear facilities and persons or discuss outstanding concerns regarding a potential military dimension to its nuclear program.

In an unclassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released Dec. 3, 2007, the U.S. intelligence community concluded with “high confidence” that Iran had “halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003” and expressed “moderate confidence” that the program had not been restarted.[8] The 2007 NIE defined “nuclear weapons program” as weapons design and weaponization activities, as well as covert uranium conversion and enrichment work. Since that time, Western intelligence agencies have reportedly assessed that Iran has resumed research related to weaponization, but has still not restarted all of the weapons-related activities shelved in 2003. An update of the 2007 NIE finished in 2011 appears to have maintained many of its core conclusions. Iran has consistently rejected allegations that it is pursuing nuclear weapons.

In October of 2009, Russia, France and the United States negotiated a draft agreement with Iran to transfer a portion of Iran’s low-enriched uranium (LEU) out of the country in exchange for fuel for a rector that produces medical isotopes. Widely referred to as the fuel swap deal, the agreement fell through when Iran tried to amend the terms of the LEU transfer. During 2010 Iran scaled-up a portion of its uranium enrichment from 4 percent to 20 percent, the level required for the medical reactor fuel. An effort by Brazil and Turkey to mediate a similar arrangement in May of 2010 was met with skepticism by the United States, Russia, and France who expressed doubts over the terms of the announcement as well as its timing. The P5+1 group has continued its diplomatic efforts, meeting with Iran on four separate occasions in 2012. These negotaitions did not produce any significant agreements. The proposals from 2012 served as the basis for the 2013 talks, which took place in February and April in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Talks were supsended for the Iranian elections after no progress was made during the April meetings.

On June 14 Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran. A former nuclear negotiator, he asserted that Iran will maintain its nuclear program, but Tehran is willing to be more transparent.

On September 26, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the P5+1 foreign ministers met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who presented the P5+1 with a new proposal that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described as “very different in the vision” of possibilities for the future. Zarif and Kerry then met for a bilateral exchange after the larger group meeting.

Zarif said he and Kerry agreed to move “first, on the parameters of the end game.” Zarif says Iran and the P5+1 will think about the order of steps that need to be implemented to “address the immediate concerns of [the] two sides” and move toward finalizing a deal within a year. The following day, President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, marking the highest level contact between the U.S. and Iran since 1979. While President Obama said that there will be significant obstacles to overcome, but he believes a comprehensive resolution can be reached.

The parties met again on October 15-16 in Geneva. U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said that the Oct. 15-16 talks were more substantive and candid than any of the past rounds of negotiations with Iran. Iran presented its proposal during these talks. The proposal lays out a path forward based on a broad framework that outlines the end-state of a deal and a first phase that addresses some of the most urgent proliferation concerns of both sides.

Iran and P5+1 continued negotiations November 7-10 in Geneva. During this round, Secretary Kerry joined the talks on the second day in anticipation of a deal being reached. The other P5+1 foreign ministers also flew to Geneva. No agreement was announced when the negotiations ended, but Kerry said that significant progress was made and the sides narrowed the areas of differences.

Talks resumed in Geneva on November 20. Again, the Foreign Ministers flew in to join the negotiations, and on November 24, the parties announced that they reached an agreement. The agreement spelled out steps for each side to take in a first-phase six month deal, and laid out the parameters for a final agreement. The full text of the November 24 deal, the Joint Plan of Action, is available here.

Amongst other provisions, in the first-phase deal, Iran committed to halt uranium enrichment to 20 percent, blend down to 3.5 percent half of its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent and oxidize the remaining half, halt construction at the Arak Reactor, and committed not to install further centrifuges, or operate its advanced centrifuges. Iran's nuclear facilities would also be subject to more stringent monitoring by the IAEA.

In return, Iran would receive limited sanctions relief from petrochemical, precious metals, and automotive sanctions, and approximately $4.2 billion in oil money held up in other countries. The money would be paid out over the course of the six months.

After three rounds of technical meetings to discuss the details of implementation, the parties announced on Jan. 12 that the six month timeframe for the initial deal would begin on Jan. 20. The IAEA issued a report on Jan. 20 which found that Iran halted 20 percent enrichment and adhering to other provisions in the agreement. On the same day, the United States and the European Union issued statements confirming the suspension of sanctions outlined in the agreement.

For more information on the proposals, see ACA's factsheet "History of Official Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue," available here.

Nuclear Capabilities

Iran's production of low enriched uranium (3.5 percent) reached about 9,700 kilograms by August 2013, of which about 3,000 kilograms has been further enriched to 20 percent. Iran also produced 372 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium by this date. However, 185 kilograms were converted into a solid powder to make fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes. This reduced Iran's available stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to approximately 186 kilograms. Iran continues enrichment of both 3.5 percent and 20 percent enriched uranium.

In May 2011, Iran’s first nuclear power reactor at its Bushehr plant began operations. This light-water reactor does not produce weapon-grade plutonium, but its operation does raise concerns regarding Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities.

Work on Iran's heavy water reactor at Arak is also ongoing. Plauged by delays due to sanctions, Iran says that the Arak reactor will begin operations in mid-2014. Iran claims that the reactor will be used to produce medical isotopes, but experts say it is ill suited to that task. When operational, the Arak reactor will produce enough plutonium for 1-2 nuclear weapons every year. To be useable for weapons, however, the plutonium must be separated. Iran does not currently have a separation facility and there is no indication that it is building such a facility at this time.

In a 2011 report, the IAEA stated that Iran still refused to cooperate on oustanding issues regarding possible military dimensions of its nuclear program, saying that since 2008 Iran had not engaged the IAEA "in any substantive way on this matter." The report cited Iran's involvement in activities relevant to creating a nuclear explosive, including efforts by military entities to acquire dual-use equipment, to create "undeclared pathways" for nuclear material, to acquire weapons development information through clandestine means, and to test components for a potential nuclear weaopn design. The IAEA stated that these activites were part of a "structured programme" before 2003, and concluded that they may still be continuing. At the June 2013 meeting of the Board of Governors, Director-General Yukiya Amano said that negotiations between Iran and the IAEA over an approach to resolve these concerns had made no progress after 11 meetings since February 2012.

Negotiation between the IAEA and Iran resumed on October 28, 2013, where Iran presented a new proposal for cooperation on the agency's investigations. On November 11, 2013, Amano flew to Tehran to meet with Ali Akbar Salehi, the current head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran. Amano and Salehi signed a framework agreement. The agreement contained several initial steps that Iran will take within the next three months, including providing the IAEA with access to the Heavy Water Production Plant at Arak, a uranium mine, and information on propsed power plants and research reactors. The agreement also said that Iran and the IAEA would cooperate to resolve all of the agency's outstanding concerns.

The IAEA was granted access to the Arak Heavy Water Production Plant on December 8, 2013. On December 11, Iran and the IAEA met to continue discuss the progress made under the Comprehensive Framework Agreement and begin outling the remaining steps that needed to be taken. The parties will meet again to continue negotiations on the remaining issues on February 8.

In June, 2012, Iranian news agencies reported the announcement of the Iranian Navy's plan to develop a nuclear-powered submarine. Experts have questioned the ability of Iran to go through with this plan, saying it lacks the technical ability to build a nuclear-powered submarine. Many assert that the plan was made simply to serve as political justification to increase uranium enrichment levels, as some nuclear submarines--such as those used by the U.S.--use as high as 97 percent enriched uranium as fuel.

Conventional Weapons Trade:
In a September 2011 arms trade report, the U.S. Congressional Research Service reported that Iranian weapons purchases have largely focused on air defense systems, presumably to protect their territory and nuclear sites from possible U.S. or Israeli air attack. In September of 2010, Russia announced that it was canceling the 2007 sale of the S-300 air defense missile systems following the introduction of the UN arms embargo.


Proliferation Record

In 2000, Iran exported rockets and several ballistic missile components to Libya. It also has been accused of violating a Security Council resolution barring arms transfers to the anti-Israel militia Hezbollah operating in Lebanon. A 2007 UN Security Council resolution bars Iran from selling conventional arms and prohibits any country from importing arms from Iran. Iran has been a major supplier of weapons to the Syrian government according to a 2012 report by a designated panel of experts to the UN Security Council. The report describes three illegal transfers that took place in the prior year, two of which were to Syria and the third to Taliban members in Afghanistan. Illegal transfers to Syria included "assault rifles, machineguns, explosives, detonators, 60mm and 120mm mortar shells and other items."


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

Iran was one of the first states to formally call for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, joining with Egypt to propose the goal to the UN General Assembly in 1974.

During the 1996 Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference, Iran proposed an amendment to the convention to expressly prohibit the use of biological weapons.

Beginning in 1999, Iran sponsored a UN General Assembly resolution establishing an intermittent panel of governmental experts to consider the issue of missiles “in all its aspects.” The panel, which held three sessions in 2001-2002, 2004, and 2007-2008, has explored several topics, including missile proliferation, missile defenses, and confidence-building measures. Meanwhile, Iran has elected not to participate in the voluntary Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, which calls upon states to provide pre-launch notifications of their missiles and to annually report on their missile holdings.

At the 2012 Conference on Disarmament, Iran said that it was not opposed to negotiations of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT), but that it should not infringe on any state's right to use fissile material for peaceful purposes or naval propulsion.


 


ENDNOTES

1. Central Intelligence Agency, Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January-31 December 2004, http://www.dni.gov/reports/2004_unclass_report_to_NIC_DO_16Nov04.pdf.

2. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation John C. Rood’s presentation to the Sixth Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference, November 20, 2006, http://geneva.usmission.gov/Press2006/2011Rood.html.

3. Central Intelligence Agency, Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions http://www.dni.gov/reports/2009_721_Report.pdf.

4. Department of Defense, Unclassified Report on Military Power of Iran April 2010, http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/dod_iran_2010.pdf.

5. Crail, Peter, "Progress Seen in Iranian Missile Test," Arms Control Today, June 2009, http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2009_6/IranMissile

6. International Institute for Strategic Studies "Iran sanctions halt long-range ballistic-missile development," July 2012, http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-18-2012/july/iran-sanctions-halt-long-range-ballistic-missile-development/.

7. Director of National Intelligence, Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January Through 31 December 2011, February 2012, http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/wmd-acq2011.pdf.

8. National Intelligence Estimate, “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities,” November 2007, http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/iran120307.pdf.

 

http://www.dni.gov/reports/2011_report_to_congress_wmd.pdf

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Syria

Updated: October 2013

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that Syria subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of Syria, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

 

Signed

Ratified

Geneva Protocol 1925 1968

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

- - -

Chemical Weapons Convention

- - -

2013*

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

- - -

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

1968

1969

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

- - -

- - -

Outer Space Treaty

- - -

1968

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

- - -

- - -

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

- - -

- - -

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

- - -

*Syria sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary General on September 12, 2013, which said that Assad signed a presidential decree allowing Syria's accession to the CWC. Normally, the treaty enters into force 30 days after the deposit of the instrument of ratification, but Syria indicated in the letter that it would begin implementation of the treaty's obligations immediately.

Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Not a member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Not a member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Not a member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Syria has not negotiated such an agreement.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Not a participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Not a participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Not a participant.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: Syria has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions.

 

Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons: Syria signed the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972, but has not ratified the treaty. In July 2012, a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the country possesses biological warfare materials, but little is known about the extent of the arsenal. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence annual report on the acquisition of materials related to WMD production in 2011 confirms that the country’s biotechnical infrastructure could support the development of biological weapons.[1]

Chemical Weapons: Until September 12, 2013, Syria was one of five countries that had neither signed nor ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC.) Under growing pressure from the international community after the use of chemical weapons against opposition forces on multiple occasions in 2013 and the threat of a U.S. military strike, Assad passed a presidential decree allowing the country to accede to the CWC. Two countries, Israel and Myanmar, have signed but not completed ratification. However, in 1968, Syria ratified the 1925 Geneval Protocol, which prohibits the use "of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices" in war.

Syria is believed to possess hundreds of tons of mustard gas, blister agents, and nerve agents, which could include sarin and the agent VX. In July 2012, the Syrian government publically acknowledged the existence of its chemical stockpile for the first time. The spokesman said Syria would only use such weapons in the event of foreign intervention in the armed conflict between the government and domestic opposition forces. According to a 2011 report to Congress, on the acquisition of technology relating to WMDs, the National Director of Intelligence said that Syria has had a chemical weapons program for many years and its stockpile is deliverable by “aerial bombs, ballistic missiles, and artillery rockets.”[2] It is dependent, however, on foreign sources for key elements of its program.

On March 21, 2013, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced that the United Nations would begin an investigation into alleged uses of chemical weapons at the request of the Syrian authorities. He requested the full cooperation of all parties involved and said that any party responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable.

In an April 25, 2013 letter from the White House to Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), said that the nerve agent sarin may have been used “on a small scale” in Syria but that the United States cannot confirm “how exposure occurred and under what conditions” because the “chain of custody” for the evidence, which included “physiological samples,” is “not clear.” Further investigation is needed, the letter said.

On June 13, the White House released a statement saying that the United States government had high confidence that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against opposition forces on several occasions. Samples from multiple sources within Syria indicated exposure to the nerve agent sarin.

On August 21, reports indicated that a larger chemical weapons attack took place in an area of Damascus controlled by rebel fighters. Estimates place the number of casualties at well over 1,000 and many of the victims as non-combatants. Syrian armed forces denied the allegations, but officials from the United States, United Kingomd, France, and several other governments issued statements saying that the Assad regime was likely responsible for the attack.

An emergency session of the Security Council was held on August 21, and produced a statement demanding further clarity regarding the incident. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said on August 23 that any use of chemical weapons, under any circumstances, is a violation of international law, and such a "crime against humanity" should result in "serious consequences." President Obama convened a meeting of the National Security Council on August 24 to review evidence about the attack and a range of potential response options.

On August 25, the Assad regime said it would allow UN inspectors to visit the site of the August 21 attack. A UN team arrived in Damascus the following week after several months of negotiations with the Assad regime as to the scope of their investigations into past chemical weapons attacks. However, on August 26, when the inspectors began their investigations the team was not able to reach several of the main areas affected due to "security concerns" cited by the Syrian armed forces.

In a August 26 statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that while investigations are still underway, initial evidence and reports "strongly indicate" that chemical weapons were used and that the Syrian regime has the capacity to launch an attack of this nature. He also strongly criticized the Assad regime for refusing to allow the UN inspectors access to the site for five days, and attempting to "cover up" its actions through further shelling. Kerry said that there would be "accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people."

On August 30, the White House released the U.S. Government Assessment on the use of chemical weapons in Syria during the August 21 attacl. The report says that the intelligence community has "high confidence" that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against the opposition elements in Damascus. Secretary Kerry, in an address, also said that the regime used chemical weapons "multiple times" over the past year. Kerry said discussions on military action are underway. The following day, August 31, President Obama made a statement saying that he would seek an authorization on the use of force from Congress for a limited military strike in Syria. Given the evidence of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime, Obama said he supported limited action in order to deter further chemical weapons use and uphold international norms.

On September 9, citing the desire to avert military strikes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced a proposal whereby Syria would agree to place its chemical weapons under international control, dismantle them, and join the CWC, and the United States would agree not to conduct a military strike on the country. Prior to the Russian announcement, Secretary of State Kerry, speaking in the United Kingdom, suggested that if the Assad regime turned over all of its chemical weapons to the international community "without delay," a miltiary strike could be averted.

On September 10, while in Moscow, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said that the Assad regime welcomed Russia's plan, which also seemed to gain support in the West. On the same day, President Obama, French President Francois Hollande, and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed how to implement the plan through the UN Security Council, with France beginning to draft a resolution based on the Russian proposal, but reportedly with stipulations that force be authorized should Assad fail to implement the resolution.

On the same day, in an address to the nation, President Obama also requested that Congress postpone a vote on the use of force while the diplomatic path proposed by the Russians is pursued in the UN Security Council, but reiterated his commitment to pursue miltiary action if a deal on securing Syria's chemical weapons is not reached.

On September 12, the Assad regime sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary General which said that Assad signed a legislative decree providing the accession of Syria to the Chemical Weapons Convention. In the letter, Assad said Syria woud observe its CWC obligations immediately, as opposed to 30 days from the date of accession, as stipulated in the treaty.

On September 14, after two days of meetings, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached an agreement on a detailed plan for the accounting, inspection, control, and elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. The plan requires Syria to provide a full declaration of its stockpile “within a week” and provide the OPCW and the UN access to all chemical weapons sites in Syria. The plan calls for the OPCW inspectors  to complete their initial inspections by November and calls for the destruction of the stockpile of chemical weapons and chemical agents by the first half of 2014. The United States and Russia will now seek to secure approval of the plan by the OPCW executive council and then a UN Security Council resolution. The agreement outlined states that “in the event of non-compliance, including unauthorized transfer, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, the UN Security Council should impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon delivered a report on September 16 on the results of the UN investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The report concluded that chemical weapons were used against on August 21 on a "relatively large scale", and that the victims included civilians. The report cited evidence of the nerve agent sarin both in the environment and present in victims of the attack. It was outside of the report's mandate to assign blame for who used the chemical weapons.

On September 20, following the schedule laid out in the US-Russian agreement, Syria submitted a declaration of its chemical weapons stockpiles to the OPCW. The following week, on September 27, the Executive Council of the OPCW adopted a timeline for destroying Syria's chemical weapons. Hours later, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution endorsing the OPCW timeline. The Security Council Resolution also says that the body will impose measures under Chapter VII of its charter if Syria does not comply with the resolution, or uses or authorizes the transfer of any chemical agents.

In accordance with the plan, Syria submitted the details of its plan for destroying the stockpile of its chemical weapons to the OPCW on October 27. The OPCW now has until November 15 to respond to the plan.

On October 31, the OPCW confirmed that Syria destroyed, or rendered inoperable, its declared facilities for mixing and producing chemical weapons. The OPCW inspectors were able to visit 21 of the 23 sites and confirmed that the equiptment from the remaining two sites that they could not visit because of security concerns were removed and destroyed elsewhere.

 

Missiles:

  • Ballistic Missiles: Syria’s ballistic missile arsenal is comprised primarily of short-range liquid-fueled Scud B and C missiles that have ranges of 300 and 500 km, respectively. A 700 km range Scud D missile is currently under development. These missiles are likely able to deliver chemical weapons.[3] The Syrian military also deploys a 120 km solid-fueled SS-21. While shorter in range than the Scuds, this missile is more accurate. Syria, however, probably does not have the capability to produce solid-fueled motors for these missiles indigenously.  While Syria’s domestic capability to produce liquid-fueled ballistic missiles is improving, it still relies on foreign suppliers, such as Iran and North Korea, for key technology. Reportedly, in the late 1980s, Syria attempted to buy more accurate missiles from China, but there are conflicting reports as to whether or not Beijing ever delivered the weapons.
  • Cruise Missiles: Syria is known to possess several highly accurate anti-ship cruise missiles that could carry chemical warheads; the Sepal and several variants of the Styx.[4] Less is known about a land-attack cruise missile capability.

Nuclear Weapons:

Syria currently does not possess nuclear weapons or fissile material stockpiles that could be utilized for a nuclear weapons program, although it has long publicly expressed interest in developing a nuclear power program and covertly pursued building a reactor. It is widely assumed that Syria cooperated with North Korea to build a reactor that could produce plutonium for weapons. An Israeli airstrike destroyed the Dair al Zour facility near Al Kibar in 2007 before it became operational. Syria claims that the destroyed site was not a nuclear facility. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) currently is investigating allegations of undeclared Syrian nuclear activity.

In June 2011, in a report to the IAEA Board of Governors, the agency concluded that Syria should have declared the construction of the Dair al Zour facility to the IAEA. This conclusion was reached without an actual inspection of the site because Syria had continually denied the IAEA’s request to visit the destroyed facility. The agency relied on satellite and radar imagery to make its conclusions.[5] Based on the report, the Board of Governors determined that Syria was in non-compliance with its IAEA Safeguards Agreement, and sent their conclusions to the UN Security Council.

Syria does possess a Chinese supplied research reactor that is currently under IAEA safeguards and is estimated to contain less than 1 kilogram of highly-enriched uranium.

Conventional Weapons Trade:

Syria’s primary conventional weapons suppliers are Russia and China. According to a 2011 Congressional Research Service Report, between 2003-2010, Syria’s total conventional arms purchases equaled $1.7 billion, with $1.2 billion coming from Russia and $300 million from China.[6]

Under diplomatic pressure by Western countries, in July 2012, Russia agreed not to deliver new weapons to Syria while armed conflict between the military and opposition forces is ongoing and the political situation is unstable. The Russian government specified then that it would not supply the Yak-130 aircraft, although the contract was already signed.[7]

Proliferation Record

Given Syria’s increasing domestic capability to produce ballistic missiles with little foreign assistance and their suspected ties with terrorist organizations, the United States has expressed concern that the country could pose a risk for proliferating its ballistic missiles and technology to others. In 2003, Syria was estimated to produce as many as 30 Scud C missiles per year.[8] It is widely held that Syria acts as a transit country for Iranian armaments to the Shia militant group, Hezbollah, which operates out of southern Lebanon.[9] Israel also accused Syria of supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles, although this has not been confirmed.[10] Given the current armed conflict in Syria, the international community also is concerned that advanced conventional armaments or chemical weapons could be knowingly or unknowingly trafficked out of the country to nonstate actors.

Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

In 2010, Syria was one of two countries that abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution that urged the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to begin negotiations on “a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”, or Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).[11] At the 2012 Conference on Disarmament, Syria advocated against negotiating a FMCT, stating that the issue was not ready for negotiations, and that the CD should instead focus on nuclear disarmament.

The United States and other countries are actively seeking to prevent Syria from continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction capabilities. In 2005, the United States added Syria to the Iran Nonproliferation Act, legislation designed to prevent Iran from obtaining technology related to weapons of mass destruction, missiles, and other conventional armaments.

Researched and prepared by Kelsey Davenport and Lauren Weiss.


1. Director of National Intelligence, “Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, Cover 1 January to 31 December 2011.” January, 2012.

2. Ibid.

3. Magnus Normark et al., "Syria and WMD Incentives and Capabilities," FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency, June 2004.

4. "Syria: Country Profile,” Nuclear Threat Initiative, June 2012.

5. Ibid.

6. Richard F. Grimmett, Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011.

7. “Russia suspends new arms shipments to Syria,” CNN, July 9, 2012.  http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/09/world/meast/syria-unrest/

8. Anthony Cordesman, "If it's Syria: Syrian Military Forces and Capabilities," Center for Strategic and International Studies," 15 April 2003, p. 7, www.csis.org.

9. Jeremy Sharp and Christine Blanchard, “Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Responses,” Congressional Research Service, July 12, 2012.

10. Amoz Harel and Avi Issacharoff, “Syria is shipping Scud missiles to Hezbollah,” Haaretz, July 5, 2012.

11. United Nations General Assembly 65/65. Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. 8 December 2010. http://daccess-ods.un.org/TMP/7094332.57579803.html

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Pakistan

Updated: July 2013

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that Pakistan subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of Pakistan, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s Website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1974

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

- - -

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Has developed nuclear weapons outside the treaty.

- - -

- - -

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to all five protocols. [1]

1982

1985

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1968

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Banned exports of antipersonnel landmines, but retains and deploys them for defensive purposes.

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)*

- - -

2000*

CPPNM 2005 Amendment*

- - -

- - -

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

- - -

- - -

*Pakistan stated that it will not be bound by the provisions of Paragraph 2, Article 2, or by the dispute settlement procedures in Paragraph 2, Article 17


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Not a member. Pakistani entities have been sanctioned by the United States for engaging in trade involving missiles and missile technologies controlled by the regime.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Not a member. Pakistan is prohibited from importing key nuclear materials and technologies from the 46 group members because Islamabad does not subject its entire nuclear enterprise to safeguards administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Not a member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: No, Pakistan has not negotiated such an agreement.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Not a participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Not a participant. A senior U.S. official indicated to Arms Control Todaythat the initiative does not target transfers to and from Pakistan because it is a U.S. ally.[2]

UN Security Council Resolution 1540: Pakistan has filed the requested report on its activities to fulfill the resolution and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.


Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

No government has alleged that Pakistan is violating its Biological Weapons Convention commitments. Islamabad has not filed a voluntary BWC confidence-building declaration.

Chemical Weapons:

Pakistan did not declare possessing any chemical weapons when it joined the Chemical Weapons Convention. Pakistan remains in good standing under the treaty.

Conventional Weapons Trade:

Pakistan is one of the top conventional arms purchasers in the developing world, concluding roughly $12.5 billion in arms sales between 2002 and 2009. [3] The Pentagon reports that from 2002-2010 the total U.S. military sale agreements with Pakistan were worth approximately $5.4 billion. [4] Those agreements included a purchase of 18 new F-16C/D combat aircraft from the United States (17 have been delivered as of January 2011). From 2007 to 2011 five percent of global arms transfers were to Pakistan, which has been rapidly increasing its imports of arms from China in particular.[5]

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

Pakistan’s secret nuclear weapons program began in the early 1970s and was spurred on by India’s first nuclear test in 1974. The effort was aided by the theft of nuclear technology and know-how from the European company URENCO by Abdul Qadeer Khan, who became a leading figure in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons establishment. Khan is also believed to have received a nuclear weapon design from China. Although U.S. intelligence was aware of Pakistan’s illicit program, the United States continued to provide military assistance and foreign aid to Islamabad up until 1990 when President George H. W. Bush decided that he could no longer certify that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear device. U.S. sanctions related to Pakistan’s nuclear program were dropped after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when the United States decided to pursue closer relations with Pakistan as part of the U.S. declared “war on terror.”

Pakistan is estimated as having an arsenal of about 90-110 warheads and is assessed to be expanding its arsenal faster than any other country.

Delivery Systems

Missiles

  • Ballistic Missiles: Pakistan has an active ballistic missile program and has flight-tested and deployed nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Its current arsenal is composed predominantly of short-range missiles, including Hatf-1 and Hatf-1A/1B tactical ballistic missiles and Ghaznavi and Shaheen-1 SRBM's. Since 2003 Pakistan has deployedGhauri-1 and Ghauri-2 (Hatf-5) missiles with ranges up to 1300 and 1800 kilometers respectively. The system with the longest estimated range that has been flight-tested is the solid-fueled Shaheen-2 (Hatf-6), which has a range of over 2,000 kilometers. Pakistan may be developing a longer range Shaheen-3. Islamabad has also been developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles with very short ranges to be used on the battlefield against Indian conventional forces. These include the Nasr (Hatf-9)--with a range of 60 kilometers--last tested in May 2012. Pakistan’s program has benefited from missile and technology transfers from China and North Korea.

  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles: Pakistan does not currently possess submarine launched ballistic missiles.

  • Cruise Missiles: Pakistan been developing both ground- and air-launched cruise missiles that are likely to be nuclear capable. Its ground-launched system, the Babur (Haft-7), has a range of 700 kilometers, according to the Pakistani military. Pakistan has also tested the Ra'ad (Hatf-8) air-launched cruise missile system, with a range of 350 kilometers. The Pakistani military claims that both systems are highly accurate and have “stealth capabilities.”

Submarines

  • Pakistan declared its intention to acquire nuclear-powered submarines from China in April 2012, following India's chartering of a Russian nuclear submarine. Pakistani news sources report that the government may attempt to build two to six submarines with Chinese assistance.[6] It is unclear if Pakistan is attempting to complete the nuclear triad.

Strategic Bombers

  • Pakistan’s available delivery vehicles include dual-use fighter aircraft, reportedly the U.S.-origin F-16A/B and French-orgin Mirage 2000 fighter jets. The planes were not transferred for the purpose of delivering nuclear bombs, but Pakistan is believed to have modified the them for that mission.

Nuclear Doctrine

Pakistan has pledged no first use against non-nuclear weapons states, but has not ruled out the possible first use of nuclear weapons against India. Although Pakistani officials have claimed that nuclear weapons would be used only as a matter of last resort in such a conflict with India, Islamabad’s development of battlefield nuclear weapons to counter Indian conventional forces raises questions as to how central Pakistani nuclear weapons are in its security doctrine.

Pakistan’s nuclear warheads are believed to be stored in a disassembled state, with the fissile core kept separate from the warhead package.  This practice greatly increases the time required to deploy the weapons.

Pakistan has conducted two nuclear weapon tests, although one of those involved five simultaneous explosions. The first test occurred May 28, 1998, and the last took place May 30, 1998. In 1990, China is believed to have tested a Pakistani derivative of the nuclear design Beijing allegedly gave to Khan.

Due to severe political instability from extremist groups in Pakistan, there is unease regarding the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, materials, and facilities from both insurgent threats and insider collusion. Pakistan has shared critical information about its nuclear activities with the U.S., and both Pakistani and U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that Pakistani nuclear assets are secure from such threats.

Fissile Material

Each year, Pakistan produces enough fissile material for approximately 10-21 nuclear weapons. [7] Islamabad is also expanding its production capacity by building additional nuclear facilities, including the construction of two new heavy water reactors at its Khushab nuclear site, which has had two operational reactors since 2009. The completion of these would effectively double the amount of plutonium Pakistan produces for weapons, enabling it to build approximately 19-26 weapons per year according to analysts. Completion of these reactors, however, will likely take several more years. Pakistan is currently estimated to possess approximately 2.75 tons of highly enriched uranium and between 90 and 180 kilograms of weapons plutonium. [8]


Proliferation Record

Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan developed a black market network of suppliers to procure technology and know-how for Pakistan’s secret nuclear weapons program and then transformed that network into a supply chain for other states. Iran, Libya, and North Korea were all clients and other states might have been as well. After the interception of one of his shipments to Libya in October 2003, Khan appeared on Pakistani television in February 2004 and confessed to running the network, which transferred items ranging from centrifuges to bomb designs.

The Pakistani government denied any complicity in or knowledge of the network and confined Khan to house arrest. Although reportedly serving as an intermediary to foreign governments, the Pakistani government has not made Khan available to direct interviews by other states. General concern exists that remnants of the network might still be functioning.

Pakistan instituted new export control laws following the public exposure of Khan’s network, including the establishment of the Strategic Export Control Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pakistan's control list now includes dual-use materials in an effort to meet the regulatory standards of export control regimes.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

Pakistan has concluded bilateral confidence-building measures with India. After their tit-for-tat nuclear tests in 1998, the two rivals volunteered to abstain from nuclear testing. They also have established a hotline to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war and agreed to exchange advance notifications of ballistic missile flight tests.

Pakistan has blocked the start of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) at the 65-member Conference on Disarmament. Islamabad has insisted that an FMCT must cover existing stocks of fissile material due to concerns about India's current stockpile, and is preventing the body from reaching consensus on an agenda that would allow negotiations on the treaty to begin. In an interview with Arms Control Today, Pakistani permanent representative to the UN Office at Geneva Zamir Akram indicated that the decision by the Nuclear Suppliers Group to remove the ban on sales of nuclear material to India was a major barrier to Pakistani support for an FMCT. He said that Pakistan would support negotiations if it, too, received a waiver from the NSG.

-Updated by Victor Silva


ENDNOTES

1. Pakistan has not agreed to an amendment that extends the convention’s application beyond just interstate conflicts to intrastate conflicts.

2. Wade Boese, “The Proliferation Security Initiative: An Interview with John Bolton,” Arms Control Today, December 2003, http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2003_12/PSI.

3. Ismail Dilawar, “India got a N-submarine from Russia, Pakistan to get its from China,” Pakistan Today 22 April 2012.

4. Institute for Science and International Security, Pakistan Doubling Rate of Making Nuclear Weapons: Time for Pakistan to Reverse Course, May 2011, http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/pakistan-doubling-rate-of-making-nuclear-weapons-time-for-pakistan-to-rever/.

5. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report 2011,http://fissilematerials.org/library/gfmr11.pdf.

6. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2002-2009, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2010, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R41403.pdf.

7. K. Alan Kronstadt, Major U.S. Arms Sales and Grants to Pakistan Since 2001, Congressional Research Service, January 4, 2011, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/pakarms.pdf.

8. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, "Rise in international arms transfers is driven by Asian demands, says SIPRI," March 2012, http://www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases/rise-in-international-arms-transfers-is-driven-by-asian-demand-says-sipri.

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: India

Updated: July 2013

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that India subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of India, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s Website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1973

1974

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1996

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

-Only supports the treaty in the context of general nuclear disarmament.[1]

- - -

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Has developed nuclear weapons outside the treaty.

- - -

- - -

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to all protocols.

1981

1984

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1982

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Employs landmines for border defense.

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

- - -

2002*

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

- - -

2007

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2006

2006*

*India stated that it will not be bound by the dispute settlement procedures in Paragraph 2, Article 17

*India stated that it will not be bound by the dispute settlement procedures in Paragraph 1, Article 23


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Not a member, but India pledged in July 2005 to adhere to the regime’s guidelines.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Not a member, but India vowed to “harmonize” its export controls with those advocated by the voluntary 45-member group. India is prohibited from importing key nuclear materials and technologies from group members because New Delhi does not subject its entire nuclear enterprise to safeguards administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Not a member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: IAEA approved additional protocol on March 3, 2009.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Not a participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Not a participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Not a participant. A senior U.S. official indicated to Arms Control Today that the initiative does not target Indian transfers because it is a U.S. ally.[2]

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: India has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and offered to host IAEA courses on physical security of nuclear facilities.


Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

The Indian biotechnology private sector is highly sophisticated and the government conducts defensive biological weapons research. No evidence points to an offensive weapons program.

Chemical Weapons:

India has destroyed over half of its declared 1,055 metric tons of chemical weapon stockpiles. India’s destruction deadline is April 2009. Indian industry exports precursor and dual-use chemicals and the armed forces operate an active chemical weapons defense program.

Conventional Weapons Trade:

India is a leading buyer of conventional arms. Between 1999 and 2006, India totaled $22.4 billion in arms sales agreements, according to a 2007 report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service. That total made India first among all developing arms buyers during that period.[3] India became the leading global arms importer in the period from 2007 to 2011, accounting for ten percent of total arms imports. This trend is expected to continue, with an announced increase of 17 percent in defense spending for the fiscal year 2012-2013.[4]

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

India is estimated to have an arsenal of 80 to 100 warheads with plutonium cores.[5] India is working to expand its fleet of ground-launched ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and is developing submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) capability.

Delivery Systems

Missiles

  • Ballistic Missiles: India has an active and advanced ballistic missile sector, which has produced a nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missile - the Prithvi 1 - that is in service. Nuclear-capable medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles are also under development and have been flight-tested, with mixed results including both successful tests and failures. There have been eight successful tests of the 700 kilometer range Agni-1 missile, and several successful tests of a 2,000 kilometer range Agni-2. While the Agni-1 is fully operational and deployed, the status of the Agni-2 is less certain. The Agni-2 was most recently tested in July 2012. The Agni-3 is a two stage, solid fuelled missile with a range of 3,000 kilometers, India’s Defense Research and Development organization (DRDO) was included into military service in 2012 and is currently in production. The longest range missile under development is India's Agni-5 with a reported range of 5,000 kilometers, making it capable of reaching Shanghai or Beijing, but short of the 5,500 kilometer threshold for an ICBM. The Agni-5 was successfully tested for the first time on April 19, 2012. According to the DRDO, the Agni-5 has a potential maximum range of 5,500-5,800 kilometers, although this has not been confirmed in tests.[6] Consistent reports exist that India also intends to convert a space launch vehicle into an intercontinental-range ballistic missile, the Surya.[7]

  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles: India has tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile, the K-15, four times. The first test took place in February 2008 from a submerged pontoon, not a submarine. Estimates of the range of the K-15 are between 290 and 700 kilometers. In July, 2012, India announced that the K-15 was ready for production, although it will likely undergo further testing before it is deployed. Upon deployment of the nuclear capable K-15, India will have completed the triad. In addition, India has conducted seven tests of a ship-launched ballistic missile based on the Prithvi design - the Dhanush - with a range of about 350 kilometers.

  • Cruise Missiles: India has worked with Russia to produce the BrahMos supersonic anti-ship and land-attack cruise missile. The missile, which can be launched from aircraft, ships, or a mobile ground vehicle, has an estimated range of roughly 300 kilometers—the threshold range of missiles that Missile Technology Control Regime members are supposed to exercise restraint in exporting. India announced plans to test a second cruise missile called the Nirbhay in 2012. According to the DRDO, the Nirbhay will have a range of 1,000 kilometers and will be capable of carrying multiple warheads.

Submarines

  • Since 1984 India has been developing a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the Arihant, as a third platform for nuclear warhead delivery. This submarine is expected to complete sea trials and begin patrols in 2013, and will likely carry 12 K-15 SLBM's.

Strategic Bombers

  • India’s only known nuclear capable aircraft is the Mirage 2000H.  This plane has a range of 1850 km and is capable of carrying up to 6300 kg of explosive.  It can only deliver gravity-based nuclear bombs.  It is also believed that the Jaguar IS Shamsher and the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircrafts have been modified to deliver nuclear payloads. [8] In 2012 India selected the Rafale fighter jet to replace its aging fleet of Mirage 2000 planes.  The first Rafale planes are expected to be delivered in late 2013.

Nuclear Weapons

Indian officials say the size of their nuclear stockpile is based on maintaining a “credible minimum deterrent.” Although India stated in January 2003 that it would not use nuclear weapons against states that do not possess such arms and declared that nuclear weapons would only be used to retaliate against a nuclear attack, the government reserved the right to use nuclear weapons in response to biological or chemical weapons attacks.

India’s nuclear warheads are believed to be stored in a disassembled state, with the fissile core kept separate from the warhead package.  This practice greatly increases the the time required to deploy the weapons.

India has conducted three nuclear weapon tests, although it claimed its first test was a “peaceful” nuclear explosion. In addition, one test involved two simultaneous explosions and another involved three synchronized blasts. The first test occurred May 18, 1974, and the last took place May 13, 1998.

Fissile Material

India produces highly enriched uranium (HEU), but not to weapons grade levels. Its HEU production is intended to fuel the reactor cores for its nuclear submarine program and it is believed to be enriched to between 30 and 45 percent. India's HEU stockpile is estimated at approximately 2 tons.

India continues to produce fissile material for weapons purposes and refused to cease such production as part of a proposed U.S.-Indian civilian nuclear cooperation deal. New Delhi has approximately 520 kilograms of plutonium available for nuclear weapons - enough for 100 to 130 warheads - and up to another 11.5 metric tons of reactor grade plutonium in spent fuel, which could be reprocessed for weapons use.[9] Some analysts estimate that India could increase its production of fissile material for weapons if it succeeds in securing foreign nuclear fuel shipments because such a move would free up more Indian domestic resources currently divided between the military and civilian sector for building bombs.[10] India agreed in 2006 to allow 14 of its 22 nuclear reactors to be monitored by the IAEA, and has since updated its plan to include an additional four for safeguards.


Proliferation Record

India’s first nuclear test was of a device derived partially from Canadian and U.S. exports designated for peaceful purposes. That test spurred the United States and several other countries to create the Nuclear Suppliers Group to more severely restrict global nuclear trade.

The George W. Bush administration has sanctioned several Indian entities for transferring technologies and know-how to Iraq and Iran that could contribute to chemical or biological weapons programs. Independent analysts also allege that India’s procurement system for its own nuclear programs could leak or reveal nuclear know-how to other states or non-state actors.[11]


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

India has concluded bilateral confidence-building measures with Pakistan. After their tit-for-tat nuclear tests in 1998, the two rivals volunteered to abstain from nuclear testing. They also have established a hotline to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war and agreed to exchange advance notifications of ballistic missile flight tests.

At the 65-member Conference on Disarmament, India favors negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty that is “effectively verifiable,” which is a condition opposed by the United States. At that Geneva forum and elsewhere, India has consistently called for general nuclear disarmament by all states.

In March 2006, India pledged to subject more of its nuclear facilities to IAEA safeguards as part of a U.S.-Indian initiative to exempt India from current U.S. and multilateral nuclear trade restrictions. In 2008 India negotiated a limited agreement with the IAEA, which resulted in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) removing the ban on nuclear trade with India. Since then India has negotiated nuclear cooperation agreements with countries including the U.S., U.K., Russia, France, Namibia, South Korea, Mongolia, Canada, Argentina, and Kazakhstan.

The Obama administration in a November 2010 statement expressed its support for India's membership in four export control groups, inclduing the NSG, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australian Group, and the Wassanaar Agreement. Membership in the NSG requires membership and compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty - which India is still not party to - a factor that has impeded India's admittance to the group. Discussions in June 2012 within the NSG about India's potential membership have remained inconclusive.

-Updated by Victor Silva


ENDNOTES

1. Embassy of India, “Nuclear Non-Proliferation, http://www.indianembassy.org/policy/CTBT/embassy_non_proliferation.htm.

2. Boese, Wade, “The Proliferation Security Initiative: An Interview with John Bolton,” Arms Control Today, December 2003, p. 37.

3. Natural Resources Defense Council, “India’s Nuclear Forces, 2007,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2007, p. 74.

4. Speier, Richard, “U.S. Space Aid to India: On a “Glide Path” to ICBM Trouble?” Arms Control Today, March 2006, p. 13.

5. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1999-2006, Congressional Research Service, September 26, 2007, 92 pp.

6. BBC News "India behind 24% jump in world arms trade," 19 March 2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17433630.

7. Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, Indian nuclear forces, 2012, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, July 2012.

8. SIPRI Yearbook 2013, (Oxford: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2012),  p 313

9. Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, Indian nuclear forces, 2012, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, July 2012.

10. Mian, Zia, A. H. Nayyar, R. Rajaraman, and M. V. Ramana, Fissile Materials in South Asia: The Implications of the U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal, International Panel on Fissile Materials, September 2006, 36 pp.

11. Albright, David, and Basu, Susan, Neither a Determined Proliferator Nor a Responsible Nuclear State: India’s Record Needs Scrutiny, Institute for Science and International Security, April 5, 2006, 4 pp.

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: North Korea

Updated: April 2013

This profile details which major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of North Korea, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s Website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

- - -

1987

Chemical Weapons Convention

- - -

- - -

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

- - -

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)
-Announced its withdrawal Jan. 10, 2003.

- - -

1985

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

- - -

- - -

Outer Space Treaty

- - -

2009

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)*

- - -

- - -

CPPNM 2005 Amendment*

- - -

- - -

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

- - -

- - -


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Not a member, and has frequently exported missiles and related materials.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Not a member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Not a member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: None.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Not a participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Not a participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Not a participant.

UN Security Council Resolution 1540: North Korea has not filed the requested reports on its activities to fulfill the resolution.


Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:
Pyongyang is believed to maintain a biological weapons capability. The United States intelligence community continues to judge that North Korea has a biotechnology infrastructure to support such a capability, and has a munitions production capacity that could be used to weaponize biological agents. [1]

Chemical Weapons:
North Korea is widely reported to possess a large arsenal of chemical weapons, including mustard, phosgene, and sarin agents. According to U.S. military estimates, North Korea “can deploy missiles with chemical warheads.”[2] North Korea is believed to have 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons according to the South Korean Ministry of National Defense.[3]

Missiles:

  • Ballistic Missiles: North Korea is actively expanding its ballistic missile arsenal and allegedly working toward developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). It initially relied upon assistance from the Soviet Union and China to develop its arsenal, but North Korea is now a chief exporter of ballistic missile systems and technology. The North Korean military currently deploys short-range Scud and medium-range missiles. North Korea's medium-range ballistic missiles include the Musudan and Nodong. Since 1998, North Korea has conducted four tests of missiles beyond medium range. The sole test of its two-stage intermediate-range Taepo Dong-1, intended to place a satellite in orbit, failed in August 1998. The Taepo Dong-1 is believed to have merely served as a missile technology test-bed. The inaugural flight test of North Korea’s longest-range missile, the Taepo Dong-2, ended in failure about 40 seconds after launch on July 5, 2006. In April 2009, the Taepo Dong-2 missile was tested again. The first stage of the missile traveled approximately 270km before falling into the Sea of Japan. The remaining stages and the payload landed in the Pacific Ocean, though the intent was for the satellite payload to be launched into space. The international community has largely deemed this test to be a failure. The Taepo Dong-2 is believed to be capable of reaching the United States "if developed as an ICBM."[4] In February 2012, North Korea agreed to cease long-range missile tests in exchange for food aid from the United States. Despite this agreement, North Korea proceeded to launch the liquid-fueled three stage Unha-3 rocket (with the same delivery system as the Taepo Dong-2) in April, ostensibly to place a weather satellite in orbit. The result was another failure with the missile exploding after a few minutes of flight time. Two days after the failed test, a parade in Pyongyang featured six road-mobile ICBM's, although based on analyses of the missiles' features, many experts believe that these missiles are mockups, not operational missiles. A May 2012 report by a panel of experts to the UN Security Council confirmed that sanctions from UN Security Council resolutions were hindering development of North Korea's missile programs.[5] On December 12, 2012, North Korea attempted another satellite launch using an Unha-3 rocket. Shortly after the launch, the Korean Central News Agency claimed that the satellite successfully entered orbit.


  • Cruise Missiles: North Korean is believed to possess and continues to develop anti-ship cruise missiles derived from the Chinese CSSC-3 Silkworm/Seersucker designs, and it has the ability to produce variants of these missiles domestically.

Nuclear Weapons:
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered in 1992 that North Korea had diverted plutonium from its civilian program for weapons purposes. The resulting crisis eventually yielded the 1994 U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework, in which North Korea committed to freezing its plutonium-based weapons program at Yongbyon in exchange for two light-water reactors and other forms of energy assistance.

The Agreed Framework collapsed after the United States accused North Korea of cheating on the arrangement. U.S. intelligence increasingly had suspected North Korea of pursuing a uranium-enrichment program as an alternative path to nuclear weapons, thereby violating the agreement’s spirit, as well as that of an earlier Korean peninsula denuclearization agreement (see “Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities” below). U.S. officials say that North Korean negotiators admitted to having such a covert program when challenged in October 2002 on the issue. North Korean officials, however, have denied that alleged admission and continue to deny ever pursuing an uranium-enrichment program.

The Korean Economic Development Organization (KEDO), the multilateral body created to provide energy assistance to North Korea under the Agreed Framework, halted its energy aid to North Korea in November 2002. A year and one month later, KEDO suspended construction of the two light-water reactors.

North Korea ordered IAEA inspectors to leave the country Dec. 27, 2002, and announced its withdrawal from the NPT Jan. 10, 2003. In response, the IAEA referred the case to the UN Security Council. In August 2003, Russia, China, Japan, the United States, and the two Koreas also launched a multilateral diplomatic process, known as the six-party talks.

The talks initially failed to resolve the disputes, and on Feb. 10, 2005, North Korea announced that it had assembled nuclear warheads. In September 2005, the six-party talks realized its first major success with the adoption of a joint statement in which North Korea pledged to abandon its nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons programs and return to the NPT. The talks faltered shortly after. On Oct. 9, 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test. The UN Security Council responded by adopting resolution 1718, enacting a variety of multilateral sanctions and demanding that Pyongyang return to the NPT.

On Feb. 13, 2007, the six-party participants agreed to an action plan detailing initial steps to implement the September 2005 Joint Statement. That action plan included shutting down North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor in return for energy aid. Using the Yongbyon facilities, North Korea is thought to have produced sufficient plutonium to assemble 6-12 nuclear devices.

The six parties concluded a follow-up agreement to the Feb. 13 action plan on Oct. 3, 2007. In that later agreement, North Korea agreed to disable its plutonium-production program at Yongbyon and provide a full accounting of all nuclear activities. In exchange for these actions, North Korea received the remaining energy aid pledged in the Feb. 13 agreement. The United States also committed to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and to stop applying the 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act against Pyongyang.

North Korea’s failed April 2009 satellite launch was met with a United Nations Security Council condemnation and a demand that North Korea not conduct any further launches using ballistic missile technology. The North Korea responded strongly to this condemnation, withdrawing from the six party talks and declaring an intention to restart plutonium production.

North Korea then conducted its second nuclear test on June 25, 2009 with the underground detonation of a nuclear device estimated to have a yield of 2 to 6 kilotons. The UN Security Council responded with Resolution 1874, which intensified sanctions on Pyongyang. This resolution also called for UN Member States to inspect and seize North Korean cargo suspected of being in violation of the sanctions.

In November 2010, North Korea unveiled a large uranium-enrichment plant to former officials and academics from the United States. The plant contained approximately 2,000 gas centrifuges that were claimed to be operating and producing low-enriched uranium (LEU) for a light-water reactor (LWR) that North Korea is constructing. This plant is estimated to be capable of producing two metric tons of LEU each year, enough to fuel the LWR reactor under construction, or to produce 40 kg of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) – enough for one to two nuclear weapons.

After the failed April 2012 missile test, which the UN Security Council condemned as a violation of resolutions 1718 and 1874, the North Korean government amended its constitution to formally recognize itself as a "nuclear armed state." However, in a meeting with the foreign minister of Cambodia in July 2012, the North Korean foreign minister stated that the regime was willing to resume six party talks.

On December 12, 2012, North Korea claimed that it sucessfully launched a satellite into space using an Unha-3 rocket that appeared similar to the rocket used in the April 2012 failed launch.

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2087 on January 22, 2013 in response to North Korea's satellite launch, saying that Pyongyang's actions violated resolutions 1718 and 1874 because the technology required for a satellite launch is directly applicable to ballistic missile development. Resolution 2087 strengthened existing sanctions against North Korea.

Shortly after the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2087, the North Korean Central News Agency indicated that a third nuclear test may be imminent, and that Pyongyang would test long-range rocket systems for military purposes.

On February 12, 2013, the Korean Central News Agency announced that it succesfully detonated a nuclear device at its underground test site. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) detected seismic activity, likely from the explosion at the site of North Korea's first two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. The CTBTO's Executive Secretary Tibor Toth said that the activity had "explosive-like characteristics." On April 23, 2013, the CTBTO confirmed that its international monitoring system detected radioactive gases on April 9. The CTBTO was not able to confirm based on the particles detected whether or not the tested device used plutonium or highly enriched uranium.

Experts assess that the 2006 and 2009 tests likely used plutonium, which North Korea was known to have produced at weapons-grade levels. Pyongyang's uranium enrichment capabilties are less clear. While Pyongyang has constructed a gas centrifuge facilitiy, it is unknown if the facility is producing uranium enriched to weapons-grade.

The UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2094 on March 7, 2013 in response to the February 12 test. The resolution strengthens exisiting sanctions against North Korea by adding to the list of banned items for import and export, increasing the measure that states can take to interdict shipments suspected of containing these materials when passing through their territories and restricting bulk transfers of cash and other financial activities.


Proliferation Record

North Korea has been a key supplier of missiles and missile technology to countries in the developing world, particularly in politically unstable regions such as the Middle East and South Asia. [6] Such transfers are believed to be one of Pyongyang’s primary sources of hard currency. In the past, its missile-related exports have gone to countries such as Egypt, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen. Although clientele for North Korea's missile exports appear to have dwindled in recent years due to U.S. pressure and UN sanctions, Iran and Syria remain customers of North Korean missile assistance, and in recent years, Pyongyang is widely believed to have provided missile cooperation to Burma. In an Executive Order issued in July 2012, President Obama sanctioned a Burmese entity for collaborating with North Korea on the development of a medium range ballistic missile program for Burma.

North Korea also has been engaged in nuclear proliferation. In April 2008, the U.S. intelligence community revealed that a Syrian facility destroyed in 2007 by an Israeli airstrike was assessed to have been an undeclared nuclear reactor under construction with North Korean assistance.[7] The reactor design is believed to have been based on North Korea’s 5 megawatt reactor at Yongbyon. A May 24, 2011 IAEA report said that the facility “was very likely a nuclear reactor.” Pyongyang is also believed to have shipped uranium hexafluoride to Libya in 2000 for that country’s nuclear weapons program. [8]

The 2012 report to the UN Security Council indicated that between May 2011 and 2012 there had been no reported violations of sanctions concerning dual use technology or systems applicable to nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles. While sanctions have seen some success in limiting North Korea's ability to acquire and sell weapons, there were reported violations by North Korea involving arms and other materials.[9]

In November 2012, however, reports surfaced in the media which alleged that North Korea attempted to sell graphite rods to Syria. The material were reported to have been seized by South Koreans during an inspection of the ship carrying the materials in May. Japanese news sources also reported in November 2012 that in August they intercepted proliferation sensitive items bound for Burma from North Korea.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

In December 1991, the two Koreas signed a Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Under the declaration, both countries agreed not to “test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons” or to “possess nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities.” The parties also agreed to mutual inspections for verification, but they were never able to reach an agreement on implementation. In light of North Korea's flagrant violations, this agreement holds little weight in Seoul, wich has called for an end to the prohibition on South Korean reprocessing from its bilateral nuclear agreement with the U.S. North Korea formally declared that the Joint Declaration void in January 2013.

-Updated by Wyatt Hoffman


ENDNOTES

1. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January to 31 December 2010, http://www.dni.gov/reports/20110208_report_wmd.pdf.

2. Statement of General Thomas A. Schwartz, Commander in Chief United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command and Commander, United States Forces Korea, before the 107th Congress, Senate Armed Forces Committee, March 5, 2002.

3. Minister of National Defense, Republic of Korea, 2010 Defense White Paper, December 2010, http://www.nti.org/media/pdfs/2010WhitePaperAll_eng.pdf?_=1340662780c.

4. National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat, 2009, http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/missile/naic/NASIC2009.pdf.

5. United Nations Security Council, Report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1874 (2009), May 2012.

6. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January to 31 December 2010, http://www.dni.gov/reports/20110208_report_wmd.pdf.

7. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Background Briefing with Senior U.S. Officials on Syria's Covert Nuclear Reactor and North Korea's Involvement, April 24, 2008, http://www.dni.gov/interviews/20080424_interview.pdf.

8. Olli Heinonen, "North Korea's Nucldear Enrichment: Capabilities and Consequences," 38 North Website, http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/21153/north_koreas_nuclear_enrichment.html.

9. United Nations Security Council, Report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1874 (2009), May 2012.


Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: France

Updated: July 2013

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that France subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of France, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s Website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

- - -

1984

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1995

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

1996

1998

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Recognized as one of five nuclear-weapon states.

- - -

1992

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to all five protocols.

1981

1988

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

1990

1992

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1970

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

1997

1998

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

1980

1991*

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

- - -

2013

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

- - -

*Passed with reservations, for list see:http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Conventions/cppnm_reserv.pdf


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Yes, entered into force in 2004.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Participant.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: France has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.


Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

Little is known about past French biological weapons activities, which reportedly included research on anthrax, botulinum toxin, cholera, ricin, rinderpest, and salmonella. [1] France is not suspected of having a current offensive biological weapons program, and under France’s 1972 Law on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, it is illegal to produce or stockpile these weapons. [2] They are believed to have stopped their program after World War II. [3]

Chemical Weapons:

During World War I, France produced and used mustard gas and phosgene. France maintained stockpiles of these weapons at the beginning of World War II, but did not use them. After World War II, France resumed offensive chemical weapons research and testing, and in the 1960s they manufactured Sarin and VX nerve agents. However, France destroyed its stockpiles of chemical weapons prior to 1988. [4]

Conventional Weapons Trade:

France is a major conventional weapons exporter. A September 2007 report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) found that only the United States and Russia surpassed France in global arms sales between 1999 and 2006. France tallied $26.9 billion in arms agreements for that period, while the United States and Russia completed transactions worth $123.5 billion and $54.3 billion, respectively. [5] A 2011 CRS report found that from 2007 to 2011, France made nearly $11 billion in arms trade agreements with the developing world, making them again the third-leading supplier of arms after the U.S. and Russia. [6]

The French government has stated their support for an Arms Trade Treaty, which is being negotiated at the United Nations from July 2-27, 2012.

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

As of 2013, France is estimated to have fewer than 300 nuclear warheads, most of which are designed for delivery by submarine launched ballistic missiles(SLBM). The other warheads would outfit the Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP) missiles carried by Mirage 2000N, Super Étendard, and Rafale planes.  France currently operates four Triomphant class nuclear submarines.

Delivery Systems

Missile

  • Ballistic Missiles: In 1996, France decided to eliminate its nuclear-armed land-based ballistic missiles, leaving it with only submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles: At the end of 2010, France deployed the M51 SLBM on its four ballistic missile submarines. [7] The older models of the French SLBM are M4A/B and the M45. [8]

  • Cruise Missiles: France has both conventional and nuclear-armed cruise missiles. The nuclear version is the Air-Sol-Moyenne Portée (ASMP). France has transferred conventional cruise missiles to other countries, including the French-British Black Shaheen missile, a version of the Scalp cruise missile, to the United Arab Emirates. France tested the Scalp cruise missile in 2010. It has a range of 1,000 km. [9]

Submarines

  • France’s submarine force consists of four Triomphant class submarines. Both Le Terrible and Le Vigilant carries sixteen M51 missiles while the other two submarines carry M45 missiles [10].  Both of these missiles have a range of 6000 km and deliver 100 kilotons warheads.  France is expected to upgrade its remaining submarines by 2017 and to replace the M51.1 missiles with the M51.2 by 2015.

Strategic Bombers

  • The French Air Force currently operates Mirage 2000N and Rafale aircrafts.  These aircrafts are capable of carrying and delivering nuclear payloads.  Additionally, the French Navy operates Super Éntendard aircrafts, which are also capable of carrying and delivering nuclear payloads [11]. All planes carry ASMP cruise missiles to deliver 300 kt warheads.  The French military is expected to replace its entire Super Éntendard fleet with Dassault Rafale planes by 2015, and some of its Mirage 2000N with Rafale planes by 2018. [12]

Nuclear Doctrine

France reserves the right to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict. It has reaffirmed a 1995 pledge not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states-parties to the NPT unless it is facing an invasion or sustained attack against its territories, armed forces, or states with which it has security agreement and the attack is in alliance with a nuclear-weapon state. At the same time, French President Jacques Chirac suggested in January 2006 that nuclear weapons would be an option for responding to states that conduct “terrorist” or any type of weapon of mass destruction attack against France.

Paris declared that it took steps in 1992 and 1996 to extend the time it take to launch nuclear weapons.  It is believed that France needs several days in order to launch nuclear weapons.

France conducted 210 nuclear tests. The first test occurred Feb. 13, 1960, and the last test took place Jan. 27, 1996. France was the fourth country to conduct a nuclear weapon test.

Fissile Material

Chirac announced in February 1996 that France no longer produced fissile material, highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, for weapons purposes. He also vowed that France would dismantle its fissile material production facilities for arms. As of 2011, France is estimated to have approximately 26 metric tons of HEU and 6 metric tons of plutonium for weapons purposes. France also possesses HEU and plutonium for its civilian nuclear power program. In its most recent IAEA disclosure, France said it had 56 tons of plutonium and 4.6 tons of HEU for civilian use. [13] France is one of the few countries that continues to reprocess spent nuclear fuel, and the accept fuel from foreign countries for that purpose. Currently, approximately 24 tons of foreign owned plutonium, mostly belonging to Japan, is stored in France.


Proliferation Record

In 1957, France signed a major nuclear cooperation agreement with Israel even though it was generally understood that Israel was interested in potentially developing a nuclear arsenal. France halted the agreement in 1960.

France built the Osirak reactor in Iraq despite warnings from other governments that the reactor might be used to support a secret Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Paris declined to rebuild the reactor after Israel bombed the plant in 1981.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

France has signed protocols stating its intent to respect and not threaten the use of nuclear weapons against states-parties to the Latin America, South Pacific, and African nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. France has not signed the protocols for the Central Asian and Southeast Asian zones.

As of 2008, the French government supports the negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty, and has affirmed that the Conference on Disarmament is the appropriate forum for negotiations.

France is a state-party to the Open Skies Treaty, which enables unarmed reconnaissance flights over all states-parties territories, and has signed the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. France, along with other NATO members, is refusing to ratify the latter agreement until Russia fulfills commitments to withdraw its military forces from Georgia and Moldova.

France signed and ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans “all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions.” [14] The treaty went into effect August 1, 2010.

France has been a supporter of security nuclear material, [15] and participated in both the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC and the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul, South Korea.

France has engaged in negotiations with Iran such as the most recent rounds of the P5+1 talks over Iran’s nuclear activities, over its nuclear activities, which France suspects are intended to develop nuclear weapons. France supported ratcheting up sanctions on Iran to persuade it to halt certain activities, particularly uranium enrichment. This included a European Union-wide ban on importing Iranian oil that went into effect July 1, 2012.

-Researched and prepared by Alex Bollfrass. Updated by Victor Silva


ENDNOTES

1. Lepick, Olivier, “French Activities Related to Biological Warfare, 1919-45,” Biological and Toxin Weapons: Research, Development and Use from the Middle Ages to 1945,” Geissler, Erhard, and van Courtland Mood, John Ellis, eds., Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 1999.

2. “France: Practice Related to Rule 73. Biological Weapons.” International Committee of the Red Cross, page visited July 2012. http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v2_cou_fr_rule73

3. “Chemical and Biological Weapons: Possession and Programs Past and Present.” James Martin Center For Nonproliferation Studies, updated March 2008. http://cns.miis.edu/cbw/possess.htm

4. “France Chemical.” King’s College London, page visited July 2012.http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/research/groups/csss/alpha/countries/France/France-Chemical.aspx

5. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1999-2006, Congressional Research Service, September 26, 2007, 92 pp.

6. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011, 89 pp.

7. “M51 – Missile mer-sol balistique strategique.” Direction generale de l’armement, June 14, 2011. http://www.defense.gouv.fr/dga/equipement/dissuasion/m51-missile-mer-sol-balistique-strategique/%28language%29/fre-FR#SearchText=m51#xtcr=3

8. “Worldwide Ballistic Missile Inventories.” Arms Control Association, January 2012.http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/missiles

9. Irish, John. “AIRSHOW-France eyes sea-launched cruise missiles.” Reuters, June 20, 2011. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/20/airshow-mbda-missiles-idUSLDE75J1PV20110620

10. SIPRI Yearbook 2013, (Oxford: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2012), 303.

11. Atomic Archive, "French Nuclear Forces." Accessed June 18, 2013. http://www.atomicarchive.com/Almanac/FRForces.shtml.

12.SIPRI Yearbook 2012, (Oxford: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2012), 325.

13. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report, 2011, January 2012, 49 pp. (http://fissilematerials.org/library/gfmr11.pdf)

14. Convention on Cluster Munitions – CCM, The Convention, page visited July 2012, http://www.clusterconvention.org/

15. “Events: Nuclear Security Summit (Seoul, March 26 to 28, 2012). France Diplomatie, page visited July 2012.http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/global-issues/disarmament-arms-control/arms-control-and-arms-trade/events-2129/article/nuclear-security-summit-seoul-26

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: China

Updated: July 2013

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that China subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of China, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties


Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

- - -

1984

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

1996

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Recognized as one of five nuclear-weapon states.

- - -

1992

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to four of five protocols.[1]

1981

1982

Outer Space Treaty

- - -

1983

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Stockpiles some 110 million antipersonnel landmines.[2]

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

- - -

1989*

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

- - -

2009

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

2010

*China stated that it will not be bound by the dispute settlement procedures in Paragraph 2, Article 17


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Not a member, but China in 2004 applied for membership. Beijing’s bid has not won the necessary consensus approval of the group because the United States and some other countries continue to find fault with Chinese missile and technology exports.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Not a member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Yes, entered into force in 2002.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Not a participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Not a participant.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: China has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions.


Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

China contends it is in compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention despite U.S. allegations asserting the contrary. U.S. State Department compliance assessment reports have said that China possessed an offensive biological weapons capability prior to joining the BWC in 1984 and note that Chinese declarations under the treaty have not documented such a program, or indicated the destruction of remaining biological munitions. [3]

Chemical Weapons:

China has declared that it has destroyed all chemical weapon agent production facilities and solely conducts defensive chemical warfare research. The United States, however, has indicated that there is uncertainty as to whether China has fully declared its past chemical weapons activities. [4]

Conventional Weapons Trade:

China is a key country in the global arms trade. It is a leading buyer of advanced conventional weapons, particularly from Russia, and a supplier of less advanced arms, such as small arms and light weapons, to poorer countries. Most Chinese clients are in Africa and Asia. From 2007 to 2010, China averaged $1.9 billion per year in total arms transfer agreements. Recent trends have shown an increasing focus on arms exports. With developing domestic production capabilities, China dropped to fourth largest importer of arms in the period from 2007 to 2011. In contrast, China is now the sixth largest arms exporter, with a particularly large increase in sales to Pakistan.[5]

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

Because of the secrecy surrounding the Chinese nuclear arsenal, it is impossible to know the exact number of nuclear warheads China possesses. U.S. government and independent estimates generally range between 200 and 300 warheads. In a July 2012 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists report, however, Hui Zhang puts the total number of Chinese warheads at 170--with 110 operationally deployed. China's nuclear policy has been defined by possessing the minimum capabilities needed to deter a first strike from a potential aggressor. Accordingly, China has prioritized modernization efforts of its delivery systems.

Delivery Systems

Missiles

  • Ballistic Missiles: China has developed and deployed short- to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). According to the U.S. Department of Defense, China continues to field new and more advanced systems with improved range and destructive capability. China appears to maintain a minimal force of nuclear-armed ICBMs to deter a first strike. Of its estimated 110 deployed nuclear-armed missiles, approximately 35-50 are believed to have the capability of striking the continental United States.[6] China is in the process of replacing the older liquid-fueled DF-5A with the solid-fueled DF-31A ICBM. Of the 35 ICBM's capable of reaching the U.S., about 15 could be DF-31As, with an estimated range of over 11,200 km.

  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles: China currently has two ballistic missile submarines armed with 12 JL-1 SLBM's. China is pursuing a new SLBM, the JL-2, to equip a new class of submarines, the Jin-class (Type 094). The JL-2 missile, however, is still in flight-testing, and likely will not be operational until 2014. [7]

  • Cruise Missiles: China has been actively developing cruise missiles with foreign assistance, primarily from Russia. It already possesses nearly a dozen varieties of anti-ship missiles, such as the Russian-made SS-N-22, and is pursuing land-attack cruise missiles. [8] The Department of Defense stated in 2011 that China is deploying several new cruise missiles, however only one type, the DH-10, is believed to be capable of delivering nuclear payloads. [9] This new missile is expected to be deployed with China’s new fleet of aircrafts.

Submarines

  • China has two Jin-class submarines in service according to the U.S. Department of Defense, and a third being built, which would give them the potential to deploy a total of 36 JL-2 SLBM's in the future. [10]

Strategic Bombers

  • As part of its nuclear deterrent triad, China has also begun to update its outdated bomber fleet in addition to the development of new submarines. The current fleet consists of about 20 Hong-6 bombers based on Soviet designs, with a range of only 3,000 km.  These planes are only capable of delivering gravity-based bombs.

Nuclear Doctrine

China is the sole nuclear-weapon state to declare publicly that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons. Beijing has emphasized that this vow stands “at any time or under any circumstances.”

China has conducted 45 nuclear tests. The first test occurred Oct. 16, 1964, and the last test took place July 29, 1996.

Fissile Material

Although China has not publicly declared a halt to the production of fissile material, highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, general speculation is that Beijing has stopped. The International Panel on Fissile Material's 2011 report estimates that China has accumulated 12 to 20 metric tons of HEU and 1.3 to 2.3 metric tons of plutonium for weapons.


Proliferation Record

China’s proliferation record has been less than exemplary. Most notably, China aided Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs. Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia also have been identified as Chinese proliferation recipients. As of June 2007, the George W. Bush administration had imposed more sanctions on Chinese entities than those of any other country. All told, the administration levied 78 separate sanctions on a total of 32 Chinese entities.

Exacerbating the challenges of nuclear proliferation, the China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC)--with government authorization--has exported Miniature Neutron Source Reactors (MNSR) to Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Ghana, and Nigeria. These reactors run on highly enriched uranium fuel, which has been supplied by China to recipient states. There have been efforts made by China to work with those states to convert these reactors to use low enriched uranium fuel, including a 2010 agreement between the U.S. Argonne National Laboratory and the China Institute of Atomic Energy for a new facility in China to produce LEU replacement cores in MNSR's.

China’s proliferation activities have diminished over the past several years. Indeed, Nuclear Supplier Group members, including the United States, saw enough improvement in China’s nuclear export behavior that they extended membership to China in 2004. At the same time, many of those same governments have refused China’s bid to join the Missile Technology Control Regime, citing continuing concerns about Chinese missile and missile technology transactions. A 2011 report from the Director of National Intelligence confirmed that Chinese entities continue to sell missile technology to Pakistan and Iran, among others.[11]


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

China has signed protocols stating its intent to respect and not threaten the use of nuclear weapons against states-parties to the Latin America, South Pacific, and African nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. China has not signed the protocols for the Central Asian and Southeast Asian zones, but has indicated to the commission that it will sign the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) protocol. Beijing stated in April 2004 that it “undertakes unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against…nuclear-weapon-free zones.”

At the 65-member Conference on Disarmament (CD), China expresses support for negotiation of an “effectively verifiable” fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT) while declaring its top priority to be the prevention of an arms race in outer space. Chinese insistence that the conference take some action on the outer space issue in parallel with any negotiations on a cutoff treaty and the U.S. opposition to that approach has stalemated the conference over the past several years. In 2003, China said it would accept discussions on outer space rather than formal negotiations but that formulation remained unacceptable to the United States. China, however, did not agree to a 2007 compromise formula, including talks on outer space, which the United States said it would not oppose. China refused to participate in Australian and Japanese-led side meetings at the CD in 2011, insisting that the CD was the only proper conduit for FMCT negotiations. The U.S. has stated that the lack of support by China and other key countries resulted in the failure of the side meetings to make progress.

At another Geneva forum, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), China joined with Pakistan and Russia to block an initiative to negotiate restrictions on the use of anti-vehicle mines. But Beijing went along with consensus in November 2007 to begin CCW negotiations on cluster munitions. China, however, is not participating in a separate Norwegian-led effort to negotiate a treaty to ban cluster munitions that “cause unacceptable harm to civilians.”

China has played a key role in hosting and helping mediate the so-called six-party process to achieve North Korea’s nuclear disarmament. Although those talks broke down in 2008 and have yet to resume, China maintains that they remain an effective mechanism for achieving disarmament in North Korea. China has participated in P5+1 talks with Iran.

-Updated by Victor Silva


ENDNOTES

1. China has not ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War.

2. International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, July 2006, 1,236 pp.

3. U.S. Department of State, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, August 2005, 108 pp.

4. Ibid.

5. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, "Rise in international arms transfers is driven by Asian demands, says SIPRI," March 2012,

6. Hui Zhang, "How US restraint can keep China's nuclear arsenal small,"Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, July 2012.

7. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2012, May 2012, 23 pp.

8. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, 2007, May 2007, 42 pp.

9. SIPRI Yearbook 2013, (Oxford: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2012), p 306.

10. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2012, May 2012, 23 pp.

11. Director of National Intelligence, Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January Through 31 December 2011,February 2012, http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/wmd-acq2011.pdf.

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: The United Kingdom

Updated: July 2013

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that the United Kingdom subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of the United Kingdom, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s Website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1975

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1996

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

-Has linked its signature to that of India.

1996

1998

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Has developed nuclear weapons outside the treaty.

1968

1968

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to four of the five protocols.[1]

1981

1995

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

1990

1991

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1967

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Banned exports of antipersonnel landmines, but retains and deploys them for defensive purposes.

1997

1998

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

1980

1991

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

- - -

2010

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

2009

 


 

Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Yes, entered into force in 2004.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Participant.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Participant.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: The United Kingdom has filed the requested reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.


Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

The United Kingdom had an active biological warfare program from 1936 to 1956. As part of that program, the United Kingdom weaponized anthrax and researched plague, typhoid fever, and botulinum toxin. Today, the British government operates an extensive and sophisticated defensive program that includes research on potentially offensive pathogens.

Chemical Weapons:

During World War I, the United Kingdom produced an arsenal of chlorine and mustard gases. In the 1950s the UK abandoned its offensive capability. In the 1990s the UK joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, and has provided assistance to countries such as Russia to destroy their chemical weapons stockpiles. [2]

Conventional Weapons Trade:

The United Kingdom is a key arms exporter. In 2007, the British government volunteered to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms that in 2006 the United Kingdom had exported two tanks, 37 armored combat vehicles, eight attack helicopters and one missile system, as well as more than 359,000 small arms and light weapons. In a September 2007 arms trade report, the U.S. Congressional Research Service reported that the United Kingdom had agreed to $3.1 billion in new arms export deals in 2006. [3] From 2007 to 2010, the United Kingdom made $14.7 billion in arms trade agreements. From 2003 to 2010, the UK was the third highest supplier of arms to developing nations. [4]

The United Kingdom is spearheading an initiative to negotiate an arms trade treaty to establish standards for global arms exports. In 2008, the UK helped cosponsor a UN Draft Resolution that established a series of Open Ended Working Groups that began to lay the groundwork leading to talks on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In July 2012 the United Nations is holding negotiations to try and draft an ATT.

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

In June 2011, the United Kingdom announced plans to reduce its deployed force of operationally deployed warheads to 120 by 2015. Previously in October 2010, the UK government announced plans to reduce its total nuclear weapons stockpile to 180 weapons by the mid-2020s. The difference (60 nuclear weapons) will be maintained, but not deployed. [5]

Delivery Systems

Missiles

  • Ballistic Missiles: The United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrence strategy consists exclusively of sea based components.

  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles: The United Kingdom maintains one type of ballistic missile system in its arsenal for delivering nuclear warheads. That missile is the U.S.-origin Trident II (D5) submarine-launched ballistic missile, which has an estimated range of roughly 7,400 kilometers. [2]

  • Cruise Missiles: The United Kingdom does not possess nuclear capable cruise missiles.

Submarines

  • The British military currently operates four Vanguard class Trident nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Each submarine is equipped with 16 Trident II (D5) missiles, each of these missiles carry up to three 100 kt warheads [6].

  • In June 2012, the British government awarded a contract to Rolls-Royce to build two new nuclear submarine reactor cores. The second core is for the first Successor class vessel, which will be a new generation of nuclear submarines that carry the Trident missiles. The new generation of SSBN are not scheduled to enter service until 2028. [7]

  • British nuclear warheads are only deployed via submarines. Currently, the government maintains four Vanguard-class submarines that carry Trident missiles, which are projected to start reaching the end of their service lives in the early 2020s. In June 2012, the British government awarded a contract to Rolls-Royce to build two new nuclear submarine reactor cores. The second core is for the first Successor class vessel, which will be a new generation of nuclear submarines that carry the Trident missiles. The government will decide in 2016 whether or not to approve full production of the new submarines. [8]There has been political debate over this issue, as the coalition government is currently split over whether or not to spend the money on this project, or find a cheaper alternative. [9]

Strategic Bombers

  • The United Kingdom does not possess nuclear capable aircrafts.  Britain’s dismantlement of the RAF’s gravity based nuclear bombs in 1998 marked the beginning of its maritime-only deterrence strategy. [10]

Nuclear Doctrine

In May 2000, the British government reaffirmed a commitment not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states-parties to the NPT subject to certain conditions regarding their behavior and alliances. London refuses to rule out the first use of nuclear weapons, but has stated that it would only employ such arms in self-defense and “even then only in extreme circumstances.” In 2002 and again in 2003, the British government stated they may use nuclear weapons against rogue states if that state used weapons of mass destruction against British troops.

The British government’s standard practice is to have only one submarine on routine patrol at any given time. The government claims the missiles aboard the submarine are not on alert and that launching a missile would take several days of preparation.

The United Kingdom has conducted 45 nuclear weapon tests. The first test occurred on October 3, 1952, and the last took place November 26, 1991.

Fissile Material

In April 1995, the British government declared that it no longer produces fissile material, highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, for weapons purposes. As of 2011, the government has declared that its military stockpile consists of 3.2 metric tons of plutonium and 11.7 metric tons of HEU.

The United Kingdom also possesses the world’s largest stockpile of civilian plutonium, with over 86 tons designated for this purpose. The country also stores approximately 28 tons of foreign owned plutonium, the majority of which belongs to Japan. There civilian stockpile of HEU is roughly 1.4 tons.


Proliferation Record

Although a leading supplier of conventional weapons to other states, the United Kingdom is not known to have deliberately or significantly contributed to the spread of biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons to other states.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

The British government has signed protocols stating its intent to respect and not threaten the use of nuclear weapons against states-parties to the Latin American, South Pacific, and African nuclear-weapon-free zones. London has not done so for the Southeast Asian or Central Asian zones.

The United Kingdom is a state-party to the Open Skies Treaty, which enables unarmed reconnaissance flights over all states-parties territories, and has signed the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. The UK, along with other NATO members, is refusing to ratify the latter agreement until Russia fulfills commitments to withdraw its military forces from Georgia and Moldova.

As of 2008, the UK supports the negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty, and has stated that the Conference on Disarmament is the appropriate forum for negotiations. Although the British government previously endorsed an “effectively verifiable” cutoff, it has backed off promoting that objective after the United States in 2004 declared it no longer supported that goal.

The United Kingdom signed and ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans “all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions.” [11] The treaty went into effect August 1, 2010. The United Kingdom joined the United States in invading Iraq in 2003 citing its alleged pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. No evidence has been discovered to support these allegations.

The UK participated in both Nuclear Security Summits, where at the latter they stressed the need to improve safeguards to prevent nuclear terrorism.

London has engaged in negotiations with Iran such as the most recent rounds of the P5+1 talks over Iran’s nuclear activities. The British government supported ratcheting up sanctions on Iran to persuade it to halt certain activities, particularly uranium enrichment. This included a European Union-wide ban on importing Iranian oil that went into effect July 1, 2012.

-Researched and prepared by Alex Bollfrass. Updated by Victor Silva


ENDNOTES

1. The United Kingdom has not ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War.

2. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, Postnote: Chemical Weapons, December 2001, 4 pp.

3. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1999-2006, Congressional Research Service, September 26, 2007, 92 pp.

4. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011, 89 pp.

5. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report, 2011, January 2012, 49 pp.

6. SIPRI Yearbook 2013, (Oxford: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2012),  p 300

7. Ibid.

8.SIPRI Yearbook 2013, (Oxford: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2012),  p 301

9. “Britain to spend $`.7B on sub projects.” United Press International, June 21, 2012.

10. Sayenko, Sergei. “Britain’s coalition split over Trident.” The Voice of Russia, June 18, 2012

11. Federation of American Scientists, Doctrine and Policy. Updated December 5, 2006

https://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/uk/doctrine/index.htm

12. Convention on Cluster Munitions – CCM, The Convention, page visited July 2012, http://www.clusterconvention.org/

My Account

Read Arms Control Today Digital Edition
*
*