Iran’s leader backs nuke talks, with conditions
George Jahn and John Heilprin, Associated Press – November 20, 2013
Iran’s supreme leader has once again declared his support for negotiators in an effort to quiet criticism from hard liners in the country’s government. However, he added that Iran is only willing to concede so much in P5+1 talks this week. Khamenei also went on to attack Israel, labeling it as “the rabid dog” of the region; this was met with criticism from the president of France who called the comments unacceptable.
China tells Iran to seize opportunity before nuclear talks
Michael Martin and Isabel Coles, Reuters – November 20, 2013
China’s president, Xi Jinping, has told Iran to “seize the opportunity” to improve relations with the world by coming to Geneva ready to negotiate. President Xi also urged Iran to maintain the dialogue momentum so that a deal can be reached. In return, Iranian President Rouhani asked China to moderate the demands of the western nations in the P5+1 talks.
Obama asks senators to give Iran negotiations a chance
Aamer Madhani, USA Today – November 19, 2013
On Tuesday, President Obama met with leaders of the Senate armed services, banking, foreign relations and intelligence committees to discuss holding off on additional sanctions while negotiations are ongoing. Obama assured committee members that any sanctions relief granted to Iran would be revoked immediately if Iran violated any agreement with the U.S. He also said that any deal would include Iran scaling back elements of their nuclear program to widen the breakout window.
Israel says ‘bad’ Iran deal will bring war
Oren Dorell, USA Today – November 19, 2013
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, in the past few days, been traveling to meet with leaders from Russia and Germany to seek reassurances that any deal with Iran will meet Israel’s demands. On Tuesday, he advocated for increasing the pressure on Iran if they refuse to meet the demands of abandoning uranium enrichment and construction of the Arak heavy water reactor.
N. Korea capable of producing weapons from uranium: S. Korea
AFP – November 20, 2013
South Korea’s Defense Minister has reported that North Korea is now capable of producing nuclear weapons from enriched uranium as well as its plutonium stockpile. He also said that South Korea is monitoring the progress of the plutonium producing reactor at Yongbyon, and officials believe it is currently being tested. It is estimated that North Korea has enough nuclear material for six to 10 weapons.
Syria’s chemical weapons may be destroyed at sea
Reuters – November 19, 2013
Following Albania’s rejection of a U.S. request to host the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has begun studying other options. One possible option that has been suggested is processing and destroying the chemicals at sea. Countries like Japan have in the past destroyed chemical weapons at sea, but there has never been such a large scale operation conducted on a ship before.
White House Warns Senate Off of Warhead-Cost Measure
Elaine Grossman and Douglas Guarino, Global Security Newswire – November 19, 2013
The Obama administration has responded to suggestions that sequestration might force a re-evaluation of nuclear modernization efforts. The White House issued a formal objection to these suggestions saying that studying possible cost saving options would create costly delays for modernization plans.
Problem Seen Impeding Cleanup of Ex-U.S. Nuclear Weapons Site
Global Security Newswire – November 19, 2013
A nuclear and chemical waste facility designed to convert toxic waste into glass is only about two-thirds of the way complete despite being under construction since 2001, and it is $9 billion over budget. The facility was to be used to dispose of 56 million gallons of chemical and radioactive waste from the Hanford Site in Washington which was used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.