Nuclear Abolition News and Analysis


Ex-Envoy’s Account Clarifies Iran’s 2003 Nuclear Decision

Nuclear Abolition News | IPS

By GARETH PORTER

WASHINGTON (IPS) - Newly published recollections by the former French ambassador to Iran suggest that Iran was not running a covert nuclear weapons programme that it then decided to halt in late 2003, as concluded by U.S. intelligence in 2007.

Ambassador Francois Nicoullaud recounted conversations with high-ranking Iranian officials indicating that Tehran’s then nuclear policy chief – and now president-elect – Hassan Rouhani did not know what research projects relating to nuclear weapons had been carried out over the years. [P] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

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North Korea and a Nuclear Weapons Ban

Nuclear Abolition NewsEssay | IDN

By FREDERICK N. MATTIS*

ANNAPOLIS, USA (IDN) - To abolish nuclear weapons, North Korea and all states would have to join the ban before its entry into force, for three reasons. First, the nuclear ban (or abolition) treaty, often called a Nuclear Weapons Convention, would not create true abolition unless all states are parties to it. Second, current nuclear powers in all likelihood would not join unless the ban when enacted is truly global. (There already exists the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been joined by all but nine states as “non-nuclear weapon” parties.) Third, unanimity of accession by states would give the ban unprecedented geopolitical force for ongoing compliance by states - desirable in itself, and a crucial incentive for today’s nuclear weapon possessors to actually renounce their arsenals.

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Israel Resumes Threats Against Iran as Experts Urge Patience

Nuclear Abolition News | IPS

By JIM LOBE

WASHINGTON (IPS) - As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resumed his threats to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, 29 former senior U.S. experts and foreign diplomats urged President Barack Obama to show greater flexibility in anticipated negotiations following the inauguration of President-elect Hassan Rouhani.

“While it will take time to secure an agreement to resolve all concerns, diplomacy will only succeed if we are prepared to leverage existing sanctions and other incentives in exchange for reciprocal Iranian concessions,” according to the letter.

It was signed by, among others, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering and Bruno Pelleau, the former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). [P] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

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Obama Magic is Gone – Caution Outweighs Zeal

Nuclear Abolition News  | IDN

By RAMESH JAURA*

BERLIN (IDN) - President Barack Obama’s commitment four years ago “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” reverberated across the globe generating hope that humankind will not be annihilated by a sheer flash of light. On June 19 in Berlin he sought to build on the iconic Prague speech. But there was no magic filling the air.

The reason, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) General Secretary Kate Hudson wrote on June 28 in her blog: “. . . despite Obama's apparent continued commitment to the goal of global abolition, he did not quite take us to the dizzy heights of hope and emotion stirred by his Prague speech in 2009.” [P] JAPANESE TEXT PDF

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Nuclear Deterrence Works in Indo-Pak Ties

Nuclear Abolition News | IDN

By A. VINOD KUMAR*

NEW DELHI (IDN | IDSA) - For over two decades, a dominant section of western analysts harped on the volatilities of the India and Pakistan nuclear dyad, often overselling the ‘South Asia as a nuclear flashpoint’ axiom, and portending a potential nuclear flare-up in every major stand-off between the two countries. The turbulence in the sub-continent propelled such presages, with one crisis after another billowing towards serious confrontations, but eventually easing out on all occasions.

While the optimists described this as evidence of nuclear deterrence gradually consolidating in this dyad, the pessimists saw in it the ingredients of instability that could lead to a nuclear conflict.

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