Japan supports two UN statements against nuclear weapons
Ida Torres, Japan Daily Press – October 22, 2013
Japan has formally put its support behind a United Nations statement against nuclear weapons. The declaration, created by the New Zealand delegation, stated that it was in the interest of all of humanity to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used, under any circumstances. Japan also supported another UN declaration along similar lines that was proposed by Australia.
Scottish Leader: Nuclear Arms Could be Removed in 2016
Global Security Newswire – October 21, 2013
The head of the Scottish National Party has stated that he may give the order to expel the British nuclear weapons stockpile from Scotland in 2016 based upon how successful his part y is in the country’s first independent election next year. This altered time table would allow the British government more time to find alternative sites to store warheads and base their ballistic missile submarines.
US Sends Armored Cars to Arms Inspectors in Syria
Associated Press – October 22, 2013
The US has used $1.5 million from the State Department’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund to purchase 10 armored vehicles for chemical weapons inspectors in Syria. This decision comes after an increase in car bombings and mortar shelling near Damascus. The US has spent $6 million so far on efforts to neutralize Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
Saudi spy chief says Riyadh to ‘shift away from US’ over Syria, Iran
Reuters – October 22, 2013
Saudi Arabia’s head of intelligence has stated that the country will make a “major shift” in relations with the US. The comments come after the US found a peaceful solution to Syria’s use of chemical weapons and negotiations with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, have left US officials cautiously optimistic. What this shift will entail is unclear, but it has been hinted that Saudi Arabia may try to position itself in a position that is less dependent upon the US.
Iran’s Zarif on Nuclear Proposal: Secrecy Is Sign of Seriousness
Al-Monitor – October 18, 2013
Iran’s foreign minister has said that the secrecy surrounding Iran’s proposal made at last week’s P5+1 talks indicates the seriousness of the negotiations. He went on to say that all comments are made on the record by Iranian officials and that any comments or leaks from unidentified sources “have little in common with reality.”
Iran Nuclear Deal Could Allow It to Enrich up to 5%, Russia Says
Henry Meyer, Bloomberg – October 21, 2013
Russia’s negotiator for the P5+1 talks has stated that a deal may be put forth to allow Iran to enrich uranium up to 5% at the expense of enrichment to 20%. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov shared his optimism that an agreement can be reached where by unilateral sanctions could be lifted in exchange for Iran’s cooperation.
North Korea reactor restart sets back denuclearization
Siegfried S. Hecker, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – October 17, 2013
The restarting of North Korea’s Yongbyon plutonium production reactor has strengthened the country’s nuclear program by allowing for increased production of plutonium. Hecker argues that the restarting of this facility has also strengthened North Korea’s bargaining position in future six-party talks because it now has more it can give away in exchange for concessions from the five regional powers.