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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

Is AP's "Iranian Graph" Explosive News?

By Greg Thielmann As a general rule, serious security concerns and hyperbolic news reports are a bad combination. The November 27 Associated Press "Exclusive," based on an Iranian graph reportedly now in possession of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), provides the latest example. The AP acknowledges upfront that the document, which appears to depict calculations of nuclear warhead yield potential, was leaked by officials from a country that wishes to "to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon." That should have led the AP to...

East Coast Missile Defense? Just Say No, Again

By Tom Z. Collina The FY 2013 Defense Authorization Bill is on the Senate floor this week, and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is planning to offer an amendment that would promote the construction of a missile defense site on the East Coast. This was a bad idea when the House proposed it this summer, and it's a bad idea now. Sen. Ayotte borrowed this proposal from Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, which voted in May to build a third strategic missile interceptor site on the East Coast by the end of 2015. Sen. Ayotte can be congratulated for taking a more measured approach,...

The November 2012 IAEA Report on Iran and Its Implications

By Kelsey Davenport, Daryl G. Kimball, and Greg Thielmann IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano, left, with Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, in May 2012 (photo credit: Adel Pazzyar/IRNA/AP) The new quarterly report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear program, which is now in circulation, finds that Tehran has continued to install more centrifuges for uranium enrichment at its underground complex at Fordow. The November 16 IAEA report says that Iran has installed an additional 644 centrifuges at Fordow and 991 at Natanz, both of which are...

Mr. President, It's Time to Move Forward on the Test Ban Treaty

President Obama at his 2009 Inaugural Address. Weeks later, he pledged to "immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty." (Image Source: New York Magazine) By Daryl G. Kimball Following the November 2012 U.S. election, the prospects for achieving U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) have improved. Moving forward and gaining the necessary 67 Senate votes in support of ratification of the CTBT remains difficult, but is within reach. Since the beginning of his first term, President Barack Obama and senior...

Australia and New Zealand Sign Nuclear Detection Cooperation Agreement

Australia and New Zealand recently announced an agreement to increase scientific cooperation between the countries' nuclear detection networks. Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and Geoscience Australia will work with New Zealand's Institute of Environmental Science to enhance the two states' ability to detect nuclear test explosions. The Institute of Environmental Science and Research plays a key role in the CTBTO's nuclear detection network by managing six radionuclide-monitoring stations in the Pacific...

Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO Elects New Executive Secretary

Lassina Zerbo of Burkina Faso was chosen as the next executive secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission on October 23. Mr. Zerbo who is currently the director of the CTBTO's International Data Center, will succeed Tibor Toth as the head of the organization on August 1, 2013. For a complete description of the election and the five candidates, please see the full article in Arms Control Today. Zerbo's February 29, 2012 presentation on "Progress to Date with the International Monitoring System" is available in the new ACA conference report "CTBT at 15: Status and Prospects."

UNGA Overwhelmingly Approves CTBT Resolution

On November 5, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution urging states that have not yet signed or ratified the CTBT to do so "as soon as possible." The resolution garnered 44 co-sponsors, including China and the United States, and was approved by a 166-1-3 margin. North Korea, which was referenced in the resolution in connection with its 2006 and 2009 nuclear test explosions, was the only "no" vote.

South Korea Signs Tsunami Warning Agreement with CTBTO

The CTBTO signed an agreement with South Korea on October 31 to share tsunami early warning data with the country, making it the ninth CTBTO member state to do so. The International Data Centre (IDC) of the CTBTO, with assistance from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), provides early warning data on tsunamis using a combination of seismic and hydroacoustic monitoring stations to detect "any strong, shallow earthquake under the seafloor" which could trigger a tsunami, according to UNESCO. The IDC currently utilizes data from 40 different monitoring...

Moving Forward on the CTBT After the U.S. Election

Following the November 2012 election, the prospects for achieving U.S. ratification of the CTBT in 2013-2014 have improved. Moving forward and gaining the necessary 67 Senate votes in support of ratification of the CTBT remains difficult, but is within reach. Since the beginning of his first term, President Barack Obama and other senior administration officials have consistently expressed support for the pursuit of U.S. reconsideration and ratification of the treaty. In March 2012, Obama said that: "... my administration will continue to pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban...

Closing the Loop: Iraq and the Additional Protocol

Iraq's Ambassador to the IAEA, Surood Rashid Hajib, submits to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano a letter announcing Iraq's ratification and entry into force of the Additional Protocol in Vienna, Austria on October 23, 2012. By Greg Thielmann It was encouraging, and more than a little ironic, when the government of Iraq recently ratified the Additional Protocol to its comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iraqi deception was the principal impetus for creating the Additional Protocol in 1997 . The absence of Additional Protocol powers for the...

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