Iran’s Ballistic Missiles Improving, Pentagon Finds
Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg – July 10, 2012
Iran’s military continues to improve the accuracy and killing power of its long- and short-range ballistic missiles, including designing a weapon to target vessels, according to a Pentagon report to Congress.
Iran oil trade skirts ship insurance ban
Chen Aizhu and Osamu Tsukimori, Reuters – July 11, 2012
Iran is shipping oil to China, its top buyer, despite a row over freight terms, and Japan has taken steps to resume imports in August as Tehran finds ways to get around Western sanctions on ship insurance for its drastically reduced shipments.
Op-Ed: Can diplomacy succeed with Iran and Syria?
David Ignatius, Washignton Post – July 11, 2012
The Obama administration has opted to work with international coalitions to confront Syria and Iran. This still seems like the most sensible policy. But if these multilateral efforts are failing, it will fall to the United States to devise an alternative strategy. If the United States wants to get to “yes” in these negotiations, it will have to bargain more independently and aggressively.
S. Korea, US press N. Korea to give up policy of confrontation
Korea Times – July 11, 2012
South Korean and U.S. nuclear envoys discussed North Korea and reaffirmed they will not ease pressure on Pyongyang’s new leadership until it gives up a policy of confrontation, a senior Seoul diplomat said Thursday. “The envoys discussed a wide variety of issues on North Korea and shared views that the North must change its ways before resumption of stalled nuclear talks could take place,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “While South Korea and the U.S. remain open to engagement with North Korea, we remain firm in our shared stance that North Korea must take actions to regain trust and demonstrate its sincerity,” the diplomat said.
Costs of the Nuclear Complex
Oversight board questions nuke lab radiation risk
Jeri Clausing, Associated Press – July 11, 2012
Los Alamos National Laboratory significantly underestimated how much radiation could leak from the nation’s premier plutonium lab after a major earthquake and fire, a federal oversight panel concluded. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board recently sent lab officials a report and letter saying board staff had identified a number of deficiencies in calculations that concluded any release would be below the threshold deemed safe to the public. Board staff said its calculations indicate the potential for a radiation release from an earthquake-induced fire could instead be more than four times higher than levels considered safe for public exposure.
BARDA Seeks Antitoxins for Treatment of Inhalational Anthrax
Global Biodefense – July 9, 2012
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for anthrax antitoxin products to treat individuals with symptomatic anthrax disease resulting from aerosol release of Bacillus anthracis spores. Anthrax is one of the more likely possible agents that might be used should there be a biological attack because the spores can survive longer outside a lab that many other agents, so it is an important target in biodefense.