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"I want to thank the Arms Control Association … for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war."
– Senator Joe Biden
January 28, 2004
Arms Control NOW

Trump Sanctions Exempt Some Oil Sales and Nuclear Projects

The Trump administration ramped up its reckless and irresponsible “maximum pressure” approach to Iran Nov. 5 when it rolled out the second round of U.S. sanctions, re-imposed after President Donald Trump violated and withdrew from the nuclear deal in May. While the re-imposed sanctions have a biting effect on Iran’s economy and negatively impact the relief envisioned by the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Nov. 5 announcement could have been worse. The Trump administration did not realize its goal of pushing Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” or as close to...

Trump’s latest blunder: Withdrawal from the US-Russian INF Treaty

This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill , Oct. 25, 2018. It appears that President Donald Trump ’s hard-line security advisor, John Bolton, has persuaded him to renounce the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. At least in this case, unlike with Trump’s quixotic violation of the seven-party Iran nuclear deal, the administration can point to a treaty violation by the other party . But as a practical matter, unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the treaty is reckless and will have a similarly counterproductive and...

U.S. Officials Dispute Netanyahu's Secret Iranian Nuclear Site Claim | P4+1 and Iran Deal Alert, October 18, 2018

U.S. Officials Dispute Netanyahu's Secret Iranian Nuclear Site Claim In his address to the UN General Assembly , Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed what he described as a secret nuclear warehouse “storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program,” a claim that U.S. intelligence officials have told reporters is misleading. Netanyahu’s Sept. 27 allegations came as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened countries that do not support U.S. sanctions on Iran with “severe consequences,” and as the remaining P4+1 parties to the July 2015...

INAUGURAL ISSUE: The North Korea Denuclearization Digest, October 3, 2018

Pompeo to Pyongyang Following UN Confab After a long pause in U.S.-North Korea talks on denuclearization and peace, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Japan, China, North Korea, and South Korea Oct. 6-8. He will visit Pyongyang Oct. 7 and is expected to meet with Chairman Kim Jong-un. Pompeo’s trip could potentially jump-start action-for-action steps designed to advance the objectives agreed to by President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim at their Summit in Singapore -- and possibly pave the way for a second summit later this year. The meeting in Pyongyang follows a busy round...

Arc of History Bends toward Nuclear Disarmament

September 26, 2018, marks the fifth International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The international community will reflect on the progress that has been made toward this critical goal and the substantial work that remains. At the United Nations in New York, 10 additional countries are expected to sign or ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons , which opened for signature September 20 last year and which, as of Sept. 25, 2018, had 15 states-parties and 60 signatories . Today, there are some very tough challenges that pose a serious threat to the international...

What You Need to Know About Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

Updated March 14, 2019 Why are chemical weapons attacks in Syria of so much concern to the international community? Over the course of the horrific five and a half years of the Syrian civil war, the government of Bashar al-Assad, his Russian allies, and extremist fighters, have committed numerous war crimes. Some 500,000 people have died, and more than 10 million have been displaced. There is no military solution to the conflict, yet the killing continues. Among the most heinous aspects of the war has been the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime since late 2012, including the...

Iran Continues to Meet JCPOA Limits, Despite Sanctions

Unsurprisingly, Iran continues to abide by its commitments under the multilateral nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to the most recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The report is the first since a tranche of U.S. sanctions reimposed by U.S. President Donald Trump in violation of the JCPOA entered into full effect Aug. 7. IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano told the agency’s Board of Governors Sept. 10 that “Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments” and urged Tehran to continue to fully abide by the deal. The...

Iran Pushes for EU Measures to Preserve Oil Sales | P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, September 7, 2018

Iran Pushes for EU Measures to Preserve Oil Sales Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Aug. 29 that “hope should be abandoned” for the multilateral nuclear deal that Iran reached with six countries and the European Union in 2015 and he seemed to dismiss European efforts to sustain the deal as insufficient. Khamenei and other Iranian officials contend that the remaining P4+1 parties to the nuclear deal (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom) are not doing enough to counteract sanctions reimposed by the United States. With U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector set to...

U.S. Touts Sanctions Success as EU Announces Iran Package | The P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, August 24, 2018

U.S. Touts Sanctions Success as EU Announces Iran Package During an Aug. 19-22 trip to Israel, National Security Advisor John Bolton said U.S. sanctions reimposed on Iran are having economic effects “even stronger than we anticipated” and that the United States expects that Europeans will see that the “choice between doing business with Iran or doing business with the United States is very clear.” Iran figured prominently in discussions between Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At a joint Aug. 20 press conference , Netanyahu again thanked the Trump administration for...

Time to Address China's Expanding Nuclear Weapons Program

A newly released Pentagon report reveals unsettling moves by China to expand its nuclear weapons program, including the development of new types of nuclear-capable missiles. These new weapons systems have largely slipped under the radar as North Korean and Russian nuclear weapons programs continue to grab headlines. However, these developments threaten to further destabilize a shaky global nuclear order, highlighting the critical need for engagement with China. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China’s nuclear arsenal—now an estimated 280 warheads—has...

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