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

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

Fate of New START Hinges on Biden

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

Iran Passes Nuclear Law

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

Iran’s Accumulation of Enriched Uranium Slows

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

UN Restrictions on Iran’s Arms Trade Expire

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

House, Senate Differ on Nuclear Testing Proposal

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

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

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

UN Defies United States on Sanctions Snapback

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

U.S. Shifts Arms Control Strategy with Russia

U.S. Shifts Arms Control Strategy with Russia The Trump administration has softened its demand that China immediately participate in trilateral nuclear arms control talks with the United States and Russia and says it is now seeking an interim step of a politically binding framework with Moscow. But the administration continues to reject Russia’s offer of a clean five-year extension of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ) and has said that President Trump will not consider an extension until several conditions are met. According to Trump administration officials, the...

Iran’s Nuclear Program Remains on Steady Trajectory

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

IAEA Report Notes Progress on Investigation

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

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