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ACA’s journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent.

– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

Arms Control NOW

Environmental Sampling in Iran

On 14 July 2015, after more than two years of intensive negotiations, the E3/EU+3* and Iran agreed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities. On the same day, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran agreed on a work plan called the ‘Road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program’. Under the road map, the IAEA and Iran also concluded separate arrangements to address the issues of (a) a possible military dimension to Iran’s nuclear programme as set...

CSBA Downplays Nuclear Effect on Budget, Potential Nuclear Savings

On August 4 the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) published a detailed estimate of the long-term costs of sustaining and modernizing U.S. nuclear weapons and their supporting infrastructure. The report, written by CSBA’s Todd Harrison and Evan Braden Montgomery, concludes that “Although the costs of sustaining and modernizing U.S. nuclear forces are projected to grow in the years ahead…those costs will still account for a small fraction of total defense spending, even at their peak.” Moreover, they write, “cutting nuclear weapons is unlikely to provide enough savings to...

Iran Nuclear Deal Creates Opportunity for Adapting Missile Defenses

Although there are many challenges ahead for successful implementation of the Iran nuclear deal reached on July 14, it is not too soon to contemplate some of the wider effects of that agreement. At the top of the list should be the opportunity it affords to make adjustments to the shape of U.S. ballistic missile defense programs, adapting program content to the evolving threat. For more than a decade, U.S. missile defense efforts have been driven by the threats from existing and future North Korean and Iranian ballistic missiles. Now, the July 14 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, August 11

Congressional Recess is Here During the first full week of the congressional recess, top administration officials continue to make the rounds explaining the nonproliferation value of the comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in New York today to discuss the deal with Thomson Reuters. Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz will join a live webcast to explain the deal on Thursday, August 13. In the last several days, a number of senators have come out in favor of the deal, including Angus King (I-Maine), Kristin Gillibrand, (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Amy...

Why Schumer Is 'Technically' Wrong About the Iran Deal

On Thursday, Aug. 6, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) came out against the negotiated nuclear agreement between the United States, other world powers, and Iran. If implemented, the deal will block Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons for well over a decade and put in place more intrusive monitoring to guard against covert activity permanently. In his statement, Schumer said he would vote in favor of a resolution disapproving the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that was negotiated on July 14. In an Aug. 6 post, Schumer explained his decision, which he said came...

New Nuclear Cruise Missile Won’t Control Escalation, Will Erode Stability

Arms Control Today recently reported on emerging details of the Air Force’s plan for the long-range standoff weapon (LRSO). The LRSO is a replacement for the Air Force’s current, 1980s-vintage air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). The Air Force plans to build 1,000-1,100 of the new cruise missiles at a projected acquisition cost of about $9 billion. After adding the $7-9.5 billion cost of life-extension for the associated warheads (according to estimates of the National Nuclear Security Administration), the total cost of replacing the existing ALCM could be close to $20 billion. Producing a...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, July 30

U.S. Officials go to Congress, European Officials to Tehran As administration officials continue to make the case to members of Congress of the benefits of a nuclear deal with Iran, European officials were in Tehran this week to discuss implementation of the comprehensive agreement and other elements of cooperation. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini visited Tehran on Tuesday, July 28. Mogherini told press after a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that the purpose of her visit was to “to start the concrete work on the implementation of the deal.” Mogherini...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, July 23

The Administration Makes Its Case Obama administration officials are out in force on the Capitol Hill and on the airwaves to explain the benefits of the comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this morning. For the three secretaries, this is the second trip to Congress in less than 24 hours—the group briefed members of the House and Senate in closed sessions, yesterday. Moniz also pressed his case that the inspections regime outlined in the deal...

IAEA Verification of the Iran Nuclear Deal: 10 Hot Issues

On July 14, after nearly two years of tough negotiations, a comprehensive, long-term deal was agreed to between Iran and the United States, Russia, Germany, China, France and the United Kingdom, aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Under the terms of the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is tasked with carrying out an unprecedented level of monitoring and verification. The 159-page document is detailed and complex but its impact on reducing Iran’s nuclear capacity and blocking its ability to...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, July 21

Start the Clocks With an historic comprehensive nuclear deal in hand, the focus now shifts from Vienna to the domestic stage, where debates over the deal are taking place in Tehran and the capitals of the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). In the United States the clock started on the sixty-day congressional review period after the Obama administration sent the deal and supporting certifications to Congress on Sunday. Congress now has until Sept. 17 to decide if it will vote on a resolution to approve or disapprove the agreement. President Barack...

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