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The Week Ahead, Sept. 21-28: Obama, Rouhani at the UN; Iran Meets IAEA; Syria Resolution

Arms Control NOW

WeekAheadSOLOThis bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming week, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. (Send your suggestions for events to be covered here.)

- Jefferson Morley,
Senior Editorial Consultant, Arms Control Today

Obama, Rouhani to Speak at UN on Sept. 25

Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani has launched a charm offensive that opens new possibilities for the stalled talks relating to Iran's nuclear program. Those talks, between Iran and the United States and its P5+1 partners are expected to resume in October.

Iran meets the IAEA on Sept. 27

A first sign of Rouhani's ability to deliver results will be the meeting on Sept. 27 in Vienna between Iranian officials and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on resolving the IAEA's ongoing investigation of Iran's past nuclear activities.

For an in-depth summary of these issues, see the Sept. 2013 ACA Briefing Book, Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle and the Sept. 2013 ACA Iran Nuclear Brief on the status of Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

Security Council to Vote on Syria Resolution

U.S. officials are hoping to wrap up discussions and secure approval for a Security Council Resolution that mandates Syrian compliance with the plan for international control on its sizable chemical weapons stockpile by early next week and Syria is expected to provide an initial inventory of its stockpile within days. The executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is also expected to formally approve the plan.

ACA resources for reporters: "Syria and Chemical Weapons," Sept. 19, 2013.

Senate to Grill Arms Control Nominee on Sept. 26

President Obama's nominee for Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sept. 26, along with a pair of other nominees for senior positions.

Gottemoeller is best known for negotiating the 2010 New START agreement with Russia. The hearing may serve as a forum for debate on the Obama administration's nuclear arms control and nonproliferation policies. Republicans may try to seek commitments on additional funding for nuclear weapons and ask about Russian compliance with nuclear arms pacts.

For more on these issues, see: "Understanding the State Department Compliance Report," ACA Issue Brief, July 17, 2013.

U.S. May Sign Arms Trade Treaty

In June, the first ever global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was opened for signature at the United Nations. At the time the Obama administration signaled its support for the treaty but did not sign it, citing the need to ensure the text of the treaty was consistently translated in all of the official UN languages. The ATT establishes international standards that must be met before states authorize transfers of conventional weapons or export ammunition and weapons parts and components.

There are indications that the United States may add its signature to the treaty next week. Analysts say this will help put pressure on other major arms exporting states, including Russia, and China, and arms buyers, including India, to join the treaty.

For more on the ATT, see ACA Fact Sheet: Arms Trade Treaty At-A-Glance, July 2013.

States Meet to Push Test Ban Treaty at UN

Fifty years after the Limited Test Ban Treaty was concluded by the U.S., Russia, and the United Kingdom, more than 100 state representatives will meet at the UN to push for entry into force of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which cannot go into force until ratified by eight more states, including the U.S. and China. This will be the eighth such conference as allowed for under Article XIV of the treaty.

For more on the conference, which will be Webcast, visit the conference Web site.