Indian PM Examines Effort to Ready Nuclear-Armed Submarine
Global Security Newswire – October 8, 2013
On Monday, the Indian Prime Minister met with the government’s Nuclear Command Authority to discuss India’s nuclear weapons arsenal. This meeting focused upon the ongoing establishment of the sea-leg of India’s nuclear triad. Currently, the country is about to begin testing one ballistic-missile submarine, but three more submarines are also in the construction process.
India’s Missile Modernization Beyond Minimum Deterrence
Hans Kristensen, Federal of American Scientists – October 4, 2013
India’s Defense Research and Development Organization has announced that its next ballistic missile will have the capability of carrying multiple nuclear warheads. Organizations officials also said that the new Agni missile will have upgraded targeting software as well as reduced launch time. If these upgrades are authorized by the Indian government, it will mark a shift in Indian nuclear policy toward possessing a more capable arsenal.
Russia, U.S. Push Forward on Syria Meeting
Natasha Brereton-Fukui, Wall Street Journal – October 7, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both commended the progress of Syrian disarmament efforts on Monday. Kerry stated that the program was off to a good start; he also met with Lavrov to discuss the upcoming Syrian peace conference arranged by the United Nations to be held in November. Both Kerry and Lavrov stated that their respective countries are determined to help drive the peace process forward.
Top Iran Diplomat in Hospital Over US ‘Misquote’
Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press – October 9, 2013
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, was hospitalized on Wednesday complaining of back pain and muscle spasms. Zarif attributed the pain to distress that he faced as a result of a “misquote” printed in a hard-line newspaper. Zarif has faced recent criticism from hard-line officials in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard who have said that Iran should not be negotiating with the United States. One such official, General Mohammad Ali Jafari criticized President Rouhani’s phone call with President Obama, calling it a “tactical mistake.”
AP Interview: Iran Speaker Eyes Surplus Uranium
John Heilprin, Associated Press – October 9, 2013
Iranian officials have revealed that the Iranian government currently has more enriched uranium than it needs. The Iranian government is now planning to use this excess uranium as a negotiating tool in next week’s talks held in Geneva. Whether or not Iran will hand over this excess uranium in some negotiation is a point of discussion, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has said. Larijani has also said that Iran may consider ceasing enrichment of uranium to twenty percent, instead enriching to lower levels for nuclear reactors and research.
Israel condemns Iran’s selection to UN arms committee
Associated Press – October 9, 2013
Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor has written a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in protest to Iran’s appointment to a UN arms committee. The committee focuses upon disarmament and international security, and Prosor argued that such a decision “is like appointing a drug lord CEO of a pharmaceutical company.” Prosor also argued that allowing a country that is facing sanctions for its nuclear program to be a part of a committee dealing with disarmament “is inconceivable.” The decision to appoint Iran was made by a 193 member committee following Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN General Assembly speech.
West unlikely to offer immediate sanctions relief in Iran talks
Justyna Pawlak, Reuters – October 8, 2013
In an attempt to not set hopes to high regarding Iranian negotiations next week, officials from the U.S. and Europe have suggested that Iran will not receive immediate relief from sanctions just because of a change in rhetoric. Western leaders have once again stated that before any sanctions are lifted, Iran must be willing to cooperate with international inspectors and must provide evidence, through inspections, that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Russia to Up Nuclear Weapons Spending 50% by 2016
RIA Novosti – October 8, 2013
The Russian Parliamentary Defense Committee has announced that Russian nuclear weapons spending will increase by 50% over the next three years. The committee expects that an estimated $1.4 billion will be spent on nuclear weapons in 2016, and the general national defense budget will increase by about 60% as well. Like the U.S., Russia is in the process of modernizing its nuclear arsenal with a new ballistic missile submarine for the navy, a new long range cruise missile system for the air force and new land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.