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Right after I graduated, I interned with the Arms Control Association. It was terrific.

– George Stephanopolous
Host of ABC's This Week
January 1, 2005
Arms Control NOW

How did the Candidates Differ on Iran?

By Greg Thielmann Last night's presidential debate tended to blur some of the fundamental differences that had emerged during the campaign in the candidates' approaches to the Iran nuclear issue, and probably left most viewers more confused about the Iranian imbroglio than ever. "Red Lines" Governor Romney's campaign website recently shifted his red line for taking military action against Iran. He had previously said Iran could not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons, as had President Obama. But two weeks ago, Romney added that he would also not allow Iran to have a "nuclear weapons...

Korean Missile Envy

By Greg Thielmann The 800 kilometer range arc for missiles from Seoul. Credit: Al Jazzera The United States and it close ally, the Republic of Korea (ROK), have just scored an "own goal" by agreeing to allow ROK development of longer-range ballistic missiles – a move that will set back international efforts to discourage the proliferation of ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Seoul announced an agreement on October 7 that the United States would support the ROK's development of 800 km range/500 kg payload missiles, which would allow Seoul to target all of the Democratic...

The New START Data Exchange Trend Lines: Why Are They So Flat?

By Greg Thielmann The Department of State released today the latest data exchange for the systems limited by the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Under the provisions of the treaty, the two parties are obligated to exchange data in three categories of strategic forces every six months. The fact of the data exchange reflects well on the parties and on the treaty, but the contents tell a different story. In the two most significant categories, deployed warheads and delivery vehicles, the Russians continue to register below the treaty ceilings, which must be met by February...

For Missile Defense, "It Depends" Is Not Good Enough

By Tom Z. Collina How much confidence would you demand in a missile interceptor system before paying $25 billion for it? When asking your advisers if the system would work against nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and they say "it depends" on things out of your control, how much confidence would you have in the system's ability to protect the United States? Not much. No president could have confidence in a missile interceptor system under these conditions, and in the midst of a fiscal crisis, $25 billion would be more wisely spent on weapon systems the nation might actually be able to depend...

Special Rapporteur Delivers Report on the Marshall Islands after U.S. Nuclear Tests

The Report of the Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights effects of U.S. nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands was recently released to the public. The report addresses lingering health and human rights effects from the 67 atmospheric nuclear test explosions that were detonated from 1946 to 1958 by the United States in the Pacific islands. One of the central conclusions of the report was that "the nuclear testing resulted in both immediate and continuing effects on the human rights of the Marshallese." The Special Rapporteur noted that the prevalence of...

Foreign Ministers Call for Action on the CTBT

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and state foreign ministers met in New York on Sept. 27 at the UN headquarters to publicly advocate for the entry into force of the CTBT. The foreign ministerial gathering on the CTBT has been held every 2 years since 2002. The statements from the Secretary-General and the foreign ministers were especially poignant given the widespread references to Iranian nuclear activities in speeches given at the UN General Debate . In the Joint Ministerial Statement , the leaders noted the significant progress made by the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO on the...

Netanyahu's Iran Nuclear Timeline: Off Point and Off Base

By Daryl Kimball, Greg Thielmann, and Kelsey Davenport Prime Minister Netanyahu Speaking at the UN General Assembly Sept. 27, 2012Photo Credit: Reuters In his September 27 speech to the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew an explicit "red line" for Iran's nuclear program, both figuratively and literally. However, his meaning was not immediately clear and his reasoning was off base. Netanyahu contended that the time to launch a preventive attack is when Iran has sufficient 20 percent enriched uranium to permit further enrichment to one bomb's worth of weapons-...

International Day Against Nuclear Tests

On September 6, the General Assembly convened an informal session to observe the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 2009 and is officially recognized on August 29 of every year. Much of the meeting was dedicated towards remembering the victims of nuclear testing, particularly those living near the Semipalatinsk test site. Additionally, there were numerous statements of support for CTBT entry into force, as well as calls for nuclear weapons states to maintain the de facto moratorium on nuclear testing. The meeting began with a recorded...

Ashton on Next Steps for P5+1 Talks with Iran

Ashton and Jalili in Moscow in June 2012Photo Credit: AFP By Kelsey Davenport On Tuesday September 18, the top negotiators for the P5+1 and Iran met in Istanbul to continue discussions on Iran's nuclear program. This was the first time that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili have met in person since the Moscow talks in June. While no new formal negotiating round was announced, this meeting indicates that there is still time to pursue a negotiated solution on Iran's nuclear program. The Arms Control Association obtained the full statement...

Iran's 20% Enriched Uranium Stockpile

Iranian President Ahmadinejad looking at a fuel rod at Iran's research reactor (Image source: The Guardian). By Greg Thielmann One of the most significant and underreported developments in the August 30 report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear program was the decrease in Iran's stockpile of 20 percent-enriched uranium. The sparse attention given to the stockpile figures in the mainstream media was surprising given that the six powers negotiating with Iran have assigned such a high priority to halting and reversing the growth in this stockpile. In fact, the...

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