Iran Nuclear Deal Closer as Kerry Set to Arrive in Geneva
Jonathan Tirone, Bloomberg – November 8, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry is expected in Geneva today to take part in talks with other P5+1 officials and Iranian negotiators. A framework for a deal has reportedly been agreed upon, and now top diplomatic officials will try to flesh out the details of an actual deal. White House spokesman, Jay Carney, said that Iran has been offered limited sanctions relief in exchange for verifiable concessions on its nuclear program.
Israel PM ‘utterly rejects’ emerging Iran nuclear deal as Kerry heads to Geneva talks
Associated Press – November 8, 2013
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has responded to the news that a deal has been offered to Iran, saying it is a “bad deal” and promising that Israel will defend itself in any way necessary. Netanyahu has in the past threatened to attack Iran unilaterally and has also argued for greater pressure to be placed upon the Iranian regime. Prior to his arrival in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry made a trip to Tel Aviv to speak with Netanyahu.
Japan foreign minister heads for Iran as talks bring hope
AFP– November 8, 2013
Japan’s Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, is flying from Tokyo to Tehran to meet with Iranian officials in hopes of leveraging ties with Iran to solidify the possible deal that is being proposed during the P5+1 talks. Kishida is expected to press Iran that it “should respond to mounting international expectations of the Rouhani administration.” He is also expected to remind Iran that the negotiation window is only open for a limited period of time and that Iran should take advantage of this opportunity.
Beijing Seeking a Break in the Impasse over North Korea
Jane Perlez, New York Times – November 7, 2013
China’s envoy for Korean Peninsula Affairs, Wu Dawei, is in Pyongyang today trying pressure the North Korean leadership to resume the stalled six-party talks. Last week Wu was in Washington trying to push the Obama administration back to the negotiation table. Recently, China has taken a more active role in applying pressure on North Korea for its provocative actions, and the push to resume talks seems to suggest that the trend of increasing pressure is continuing.
U.S., South Korea, Japan Agree to Prioritize Denuclearization of North
Global Security Newswire – November 7, 2013
Officials from the U.S., South Korea, and Japan met on Wednesday to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The three countries agreed that their priority should be the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The talks included discussion of resuming the suspended, and previously failed, aid-for-denuclearization option; however, no further information was available regarding the details of the meeting.
Army lab in Edgewood tied to Nobel-winning chemical weapons disarmament group
Scott Dance, Baltimore Sun – November 6, 2013
Labs like the Aberdeen Proving Ground have and will likely continue to play a key role in the disarmament of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. The U.S. Army’s Forensic Analytical Center may have been the lab responsible for confirming the August chemical weapons attack in Syria. The experts at labs like this are now using their expertise to assist the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to identify materials and assess the best way to destroy those materials.
Exclusive: U.S., Russia see Syrian chemical disarmament overrunning
Dominic Evans, Reuters – November 8, 2013
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons must deal with a significant scheduling challenge. The U.S. and Russia want all of Syria’s chemical agents to be removed from the country, except for one precursor used to make Sarin, by December 31. The chemical agents are then scheduled to be destroyed out of country by the middle of 2014. The chemical precursor for Sarin – Isopropanol – must be destroyed on site by March 1. The U.S. and Russia also rejected a Syrian request to convert their weapons facilities to be used for peaceful purposes.
Navy Concerned about $500 Million Shortfall for Ballistic-Missile Subs
Emelie Rutherford, Global Security Newswire– November 7, 2013
Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert expressed his concerns regarding an imminent $500 million shortfall for the Ohio Replacement Project to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Adm. Greenert also pointed out that the Navy is struggling to pay for $1 billion in deferred costs on contracts that are due immediately and ship-maintenance. These additional costs are not covered by the Congressional continuing resolution which keeps spending at 2013 levels.