White House prepared to allow limited Iran nuclear enrichment
Jim Acosta, CNN – December 3, 2013
The White House has announced that it is willing to allow Iran to have a “limited enrichment program” if it abides by international agreements. This comes after the Iranian government indicated that it was “prepared to accept rigorous monitoring and limits on level, scope, capacity, and stockpiles.” The statement said that enrichment would be allowed only to meet Iran’s energy needs and did not constitute as recognition of a right to enrich uranium.
Eric Cantor Wants Congress to Define Final Iran Deal
Tim Alberta, Defense One – December 3, 2013
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is attempting to give Congress a greater role in formulating a final deal with Iran. Cantor is gathering support for a bill that will lay out what can and cannot be in the final deal. He argued that critics in Congress could spend time attacking the interim deal or they could try to shape what a final deal would look like.
Security Insiders Poll: World Struck ‘Good Deal’ With Iran
Sara Sorcher, Defense One – December 3, 2013
In the face of criticism from Congress and Israel, the interim deal with Iran has gained more support from national security insiders who have hailed it as a “good deal.” One expert commented that the deal “is better than expected and rolls back key aspects of the Iranian progress toward bomb-grade highly enriched uranium.” However, another insider did warn that “if [the interim deal] becomes the final deal, it’s disastrous.”
Syria fighting complicates effort to ship out chemical weapons
Dominic Evans, Reuters – December 2, 2013
A highway in Qara, Syria which was going to serve as a transportation route for Syria’s chemical weapons has become the site of combat between the Syrian military and rebel forces. Fighting began near the road about two weeks ago after the Syrian military took the town of Qara. The head of the OPCW’s mission in Syria, Sigrid Kaag, said that efforts to destroy chemical weapons have never before taken place under such dangerous conditions.
Russia’s Putin, Saudi Prince Bandar discuss Syria, Iran: Kremlin
Alexei Anishchuk, Alistair Lyon, Reuters – December 3, 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chief of Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar bin Sultan met recently to discuss the ongoing war in Syria and Iran’s nuclear program. The two discussed their opinions of the conflict in Syria and the upcoming Syrian peace conference to be held on January 22.
Pentagon: Chemical Weapons in Panama Won’t Be Sent to U.S. for Disposal
Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire – December 3, 2013
The Department of Defense currently has no plans to remove aging U.S. chemical weapons from Panama. The weapons date back to a U.S. Army chemical testing program that ended in 1947. This statement from the Defense Department was in contrast to a statement made by Panamanian Foreign Minister Fernando Núñez Fábrega last month where he announced that the U.S. had agreed to remove the remaining weapons.
Nuclear-Arms Security Concerns Persist After Y-12 Break-in
Diane Barnes, Global Security Newswire – December 3, 2013
The Department of Energy’s Inspector General said last week that security concerns continue to remain a “significant management challenge” at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, more than a year after activists broke into the facility. The government has reportedly spent $100 million responding to the 2012 incident, yet, according to the inspector general, a number of policy issues remain.
Russia: Iran Deal Ends Need for Missile Defense
Associated Press – December 4, 2013
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has argued that the interim deal with Iran means a European missile defense shield is no longer necessary. In the past, the U.S. has said that the missile defense system was not designed to protect against Russian missiles; instead, its goal was to defend Europe against Iran. In light of a deal with Iran, Russia is now seizing its opportunity to question the U.S. desire to create a missile shield.