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I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them. -

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Arms Control NOW

North Korea's Sixth Nuclear Test

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, which some experts assessed to be a test of a hydrogen bomb, on September 3rd. At a magnitude of 6.1 , according to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, the test was North Korea’s most powerful to date . “Unless there is a more serious, more coordinated, and sustained diplomatic strategy to reduce tensions and to halt further nuclear tests and long-range ballistic missile tests in exchange for measures that ease North Korea’s fear of military attack, Pyongyang’s nuclear strike capabilities will increase, with a longer range and less...

The Nuclear Ban Treaty and the CTBT

The new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’ (TPNW) includes a provision prohibiting nuclear testing but some questions have emerged about the relationship of the new treaty to the CTBT. While some claim that prohibiting nuclear testing in the TPNW would strengthen the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by further reinforcing the global moratorium on nuclear testing, others argue that it could undermine the CTBT by creating inconsistencies in between the two treaties. Many TPNW advocates assert that since the nuclear ban plays a normative role, the inclusion of a prohibition of...

Understanding the U.S. Compliance Certification and Why It Matters to the Iran Nuclear Deal

Under the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), the president must issue a certification to Congress every 90 days that is tied to Iran’s performance under the multilateral nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Failure to issue the certification gives Congress the option to introduce legislation reimposing U.S. sanctions waived or suspended under the JCPOA on an expedited schedule. Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump issued certifications, albeit reluctantly, as required by INARA on April 18 and July 17. However, it appears increasingly...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, August 2017

Haley Visits Vienna to Discuss Iran Deal Verification Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, visited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Wednesday and met with the agency’s Director General, Yukiya Amano, to discuss the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to an Aug. 23 press release , Haley and Amano discussed U.S. concerns about “ensuring Iran strictly adheres to its obligations” and does not exploit “ambiguous language” in the agreement. Haley also praised the expertise of the agency and said the...

Visiting Vienna: What Haley Needs to Remember About Verifying the Iran Nuclear Deal

This week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is traveling to Vienna to discuss Iran’s nuclear activities with officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The ambassador’s visit precedes the Oct. 15 quarterly deadline for the Trump administration to certify whether Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Troublingly, while the IAEA has demonstrated Iran’s compliance in its reports seven times since the deal took effect, President Donald Trump reportedly tasked his aides with providing a...

5 Myths on Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea

The struggle to address the nuclear and missile threat posed by North Korea has been underway for more than a quarter-century, but public and policymaker attention to the problems has been episodic and often superficial, leading to the emergence of misperceptions and myths about past efforts and current prospects for addressing the threat. The following is a review of some of the most common myths about past U.S. efforts to address the threat and how the United States and its allies can halt and reverse North Korea’s nuclear and missile pursuits in the future. Myth 1. Diplomacy with North...

How congressional Republicans are trying to undermine U.S.-Russia relations

This op-ed originally appeared in The Washington Post . As U.S.-Russia relations continue to sour, President Trump has taken to Twitter to blame Congress for the continuing deterioration. Trump’s finger-pointing may not pass the laugh test, but the fact that Congress is not to blame for our troubles with Moscow does not mean that it can’t make matters worse. And when it comes to nuclear weapons, Congress appears determined to do just that. Republicans have urged the Pentagon to begin developing a new, potentially nuclear missile prohibited by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty...

U.S. Policy on North Korea: More Pressure, But Where’s the “Engagement?”

The UN Security Council responded to North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July by unanimously passing new sanctions on North Korea over the weekend. But without a more concerted effort to engage Pyongyang in negotiations, these measures stand little chance of altering North Korea’s nuclear calculus. While the additional Security Council sanctions in Resolution 2371 send a strong signal to North Korea that there are consequences for flouting international prohibitions, sanctions alone are not a strategy for addressing the North Korean nuclear threat. It is past...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, July 27, 2017

Joint Commission Meets After U.S. Certification Controversy Sanctions were a key topic of discussion at the July 21 quarterly meeting of the Joint Commission, a body set up by the P5+1 and Iran to oversee the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Representatives from Iran, the P5+1 states (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), and the European Union comprise the Joint Commission and were present in Vienna for the meeting. One controversial sanctions issue is the comment made by President Donald Trump at the G-20 meeting...

Iran’s Simorgh Rocket Test in Perspective

Iran announced Thursday it had launched a Simorgh rocket space-launch vehicle (SLV) from the Imam Khomeini National Space Station. Although Iranian state media claimed a successful launch, no independent sources have confirmed this assertion. The rocket launch comes amid escalatory rhetoric between Tehran and Washington surrounding the future of the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Last week, the State Department certified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, as required by Congress every 90 days. Nevertheless, President Trump recently told The Wall...

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