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"I find hope in the work of long-established groups such as the Arms Control Association...[and] I find hope in younger anti-nuclear activists and the movement around the world to formally ban the bomb."

– Vincent Intondi
Author, "African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement
July 1, 2020
Arms Control Now Blog

'A Blow' to Efforts to Reduce Nuclear Risks

For more than 40 years, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has been one of the largest and most important philanthropic institutions supporting work in the nuclear risk reduction and arms control field. But as a report published by Politico this week documents, the MacArthur Foundation’s board of directors decided earlier this year to phase out its work in the field by the end of 2023. Grants from MacArthur for non-profit research and policy advocacy centers, to major academic programs, to some projects led grassroots organizations which seek to advance efforts to prevent the...

New Iranian President May Prolong Deal Talks

Iran’s president-elect Ebrahim Raisi has expressed support for returning Iran to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal if U.S. sanctions are verifiably lifted. Raisi’s election, however, appears to be responsible for delaying the resumption of talks in Vienna to restore the accord as the president-elect’s advisers are reviewing the progress that negotiators made in the first six rounds of talks. The sixth round concluded June 20, two days after the election, and it is still unclear when the seventh round will commence. Raisi’s position on the nuclear deal is consistent with the position taken...

U.S., Russia Agree to Strategic Stability Dialogue

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during their June summit to relaunch a bilateral strategic stability dialogue focused on “ ensuring predictability,” reducing the risk of nuclear war, and setting the stage “ for future arms control and risk reduction measures .” The announcement marked the first step in what could be a long, contentious process to make further progress on nuclear arms control after over a decade of deadlock and before the last remaining arms control agreement between the world’s two largest nuclear powers expires in five years. In a joint...

Iran Nuclear Talks Head to Sixth Round

The fifth round of talks on restoring U.S. and Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal wrapped up June 2. Negotiators appear optimistic about the prospects for success while acknowledging that some issues remain unresolved. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister and lead negotiator Abas Araghchi said that the next round of talks, slated to begin June 10, “logically could and should be the final round.” He told the press June 2 that the remaining differences are “not unresolvable.” Enrique Mora, the EU official coordinating the indirect talks between the United States and Iran, was similarly...

Biden and Moon Discuss North Korea

U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to terminate U.S.-South Korea missile guidelines that capped Seoul’s missile development and announced the appointment of a career diplomat, Sung Kim, as the U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea. While Biden did not provide new details about the results of his administration’s policy review toward North Korea, the two leaders reiterated the need for a calibrated, phased approach toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and stressed the importance of using dialogue and diplomacy toward North Korea in the news...

Russia Puts Open Skies Withdrawal Process Into Motion

Russia Puts Open Skies Withdrawal Process Into Motion Russia formally started the process for withdrawing from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty in May, further dampening prospects for the embattled agreement. Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma May 11 a bill to withdraw Russia from the treaty. With the U.S. withdrawal from the accord last year, “serious damage was inflicted upon treaty compliance and its role in promoting confidence building measures and strengthening transparency,” the bill reads . “A threat to the national security of the Russian Federation has emerged.”...

Two States Ratify the CTBT

Cuba presented its instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on Feb. 4, becoming the 169th state to ratify the pact. Two weeks later, Comoros on Feb. 19 became the 170th state to deposit its instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general in New York. At the same time, the Indian Ocean nation deposited its instrument of ratification for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. “The fight against the proliferation of nuclear weapons is everyone’s concern,” Comorian Foreign Minister Dhoihir Dhoulkamal said at a virtual meeting of the Preparatory...

Iran, US Remain Deadlocked on Nuclear Deal

Iran is “in no rush” to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said March 21 , as the United States and Iran remain deadlocked over the sequence of steps to restore the accord. While neither side wants to make the first move, Washington and Tehran appear to be exchanging views on the JCPOA indirectly. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters March 12 that “communications through the Europeans” enable the United States to “explain to the Iranians what our position is with respect to the...

U.S., Russia Signal Willingness to Hold Arms Control Talks

Since securing the extension of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ) in February, the United States and Russia have both signaled a willingness to hold a dialogue on arms control as part of a broader conversation on strategic stability, though when exactly such discussions may take place remains unclear. “The United States is ready to engage Russia in strategic stability discussions on arms control and emerging security issues,” said U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on Feb. 22. The Biden administration released interim national...

Bayard Rustin, Britain’s Nuclear Weapons, and the Global Struggle for Peace and Justice

This week, the British government announced that it would reverse decades of progress to reduce its lethal arsenal of nuclear weapons and raise the ceiling for warheads on its fleet of submarine-based ballistic missiles. The reaction from Scotland, where Britain’s weapons are based, and elsewhere was swift and harsh. Scottish National Party defence spokesman Stewart McDonald said: "It speaks volumes of the Tory government's spending priorities that it is intent on increasing its collection of weapons of mass destruction - which will sit and gather dust unless the UK has plans to...

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