Iran, powers to meet next week on carrying out nuclear deal
Isabel Cole and Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – December 1, 2013
Representatives from Iran and the P5+1 countries will meet next week to discuss the interim agreement signed on November 24. The meeting is expected to be held in Geneva or Vienna and will detail the implementation mechanisms of the deal. Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency said that implementation would begin in early January.
As senators work on Iran sanctions bill, White House lobbies lawmakers not to act
Karen DeYoung and Joby Warrick, Washington Post – December 1, 2013
A bipartisan group of senators are using their Thanksgiving recess to put together a new Iran sanctions bill that they hope will make it to the Senate floor before Christmas. The Obama Administration has expressed its concern that additional sanctions could cause the interim deal to fall apart. Treasury Department Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, commented that sanctions were put in place to make Iran negotiate and continued by saying that now that Iran has begun making concessions it does not make sense to continue implementing new sanctions.
Iran ‘will never abandon Arak heavy water reactor
AFP – December 1, 2013
Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s nuclear chief, has said that Iran will not abandon its development of the Arak heavy water reactor. He said that Iran has a right to enrich uranium and also has a right to build the heavy water reactor, and he added that any attempt to stop the building of the reactor was an infringement on Iran’s rights. The reactor is of concern because it produces plutonium as a by-product, which could be used as a different method for creating a nuclear weapon.
Poland Eyes Up to $8.4 Billion in Air and Missile Defense Costs
Global Security Newswire – November 27, 2013
Poland is looking to acquire up to $8.4 billion in short and medium range missiles by 2022. This acquisition is in addition to the 2018 target for Poland to begin hosting U.S. missile interceptors. The Polish government says that the new systems will defend against medium range airborne threats and will integrate into the NATO missile shield.
Navy: Shipyard cuts may delay sub deployments
Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press – November 26, 2013
Rear Admiral Phillip Sawyer has expressed concern that continuing budget cuts will harm the Navy’s ability to deploy submarines in 2015 and beyond. Hiring freezes at shipyards have prevented the replacement of retiring workers which has had the effect of increasing maintenance times by as much as two months. Rear Admiral Sawyer also expressed concerns that cuts will contribute to a drop in performance standards which could be a significant problem with regard to nuclear reactor safety and ballistic missile submarine safety.
US Hints At More Sanctions On N. Korea After Iranian Deal
AFP – November 25, 2013
Glyn Davies, U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Policy, has hinted at increasing sanctions on North Korea following their success at bringing Iran to the negotiating table. He added that it is “completely unacceptable” for North Korea to attempt to engage in diplomatic talks while it is expanding its nuclear weapons program.
U.S. Knew Russia Violated Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Josh Rogin, The Daily Beast – November 26, 2013
Just over a year ago, acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs Madelyn Creedon briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Russia’s violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Then-Senator John Kerry expressed outrage over this violation and argued that the U.S. cannot enter into treaties with countries that won’t live up to their part of the bargain. The Obama Administration and Kerry are now being criticized for not publicly acknowledging the violation or confronting Russia over it.
Uranium seized in South Africa ‘not from the continent’: agency
AFP – November 25, 2013
South African officials have intercepted one kilogram of uranium that was being sold along with ecstasy tablets by two men in their early twenties. The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation tested the material and concluded that the uranium was not enriched and most likely originated from a different continent.