Iran to receive second installment of previously frozen assets
Parisa Hafezi, Reuters – March 6, 2014
Because Iran has held up its end of the nuclear bargain so far, it will receive the second installment of sanctions relief within the next few days. The IAEA verified that Iran has complied with the terms of the interim agreement to date, terms that focus largely on the dilution or elimination of near-20% enriched uranium. Iran was scheduled to received $450 million on March 1st and $550 million on March 7th.
Technical talks productive, high-level meetings set to resume soon
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – March 7, 2014
Three days of technical talks among representatives for the P5 + 1 countries and Iran were reportedly productive, though details in the immediate wake of the meeting were scarce. Instead, those who spoke to the media repeated the now routine statements about the productivity of the meetings while adding the caveat that the two sides are still far from a comprehensive deal. The technical talks over the past few days come ahead of the next high-level talks, set to start in Vienna on March 18th.
Development of long-range strike bomber to cost nearly $12 billion over the next five years,
Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg – March 6, 2014
The Long-Range Strike Bomber, the successor to the B-2 stealth bomber, will cost $11.8 billion over the next five years, though 100 copies of the new bomber could cost the US up to $81 billion, well over initial projections of $55 billion. Boeing and Lockheed, the two largest federal contractors, will be working together to gain the rights to construct the aircraft in the hopes that they can beat out Northrup Grumman, the manufacturer of the B-2.
US to push for nuclear material safety standards at Nuclear Security Summit
Sebastian Sprenger, Nuclear Threat Initiative – March 6, 2014
US representatives at the third Nuclear Security Summit, a major initiative of President Obama, will seek to establish recognized standards for the safety of nuclear materials. There is a belief that the US must push to establish standards and institutionalize nuclear materials safety in the event that the summits do not continue beyond Obama’s tenure in office. Whether the summits continue or not, there is a need to continue securing nuclear materials and prevent the theft thereof.
Task force to assess NATO nuclear posture in Europe and search for possible reductions
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs – March 6, 2014
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, together with Global Zero, has formed a task force to assess NATO’s nuclear policy in Europe and to proffer suggestions on how the nuclear presence might be reduced while still ensuring the security of Europe. The task force has already met one informally, and its first official meeting will take place in London on March 10th. The task force will issue its statements ahead of the upcoming NATO Summit in September.