'We Still Have More Work To Do'9:01 AM, Dec 19, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The State Department's Rose Gottemoeller, under secretary for arms control and international security, spoke at the Brookings Institution Thursday where she reaffirmed the United States' "unassailable" commitment to putting the nuclear weapons genie back in the bottle. Gottemoeller told the attendees at the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative-sponsored event that "the U.S. commitment to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons is unassailable."
She went on to note that the nation's stockpile of active weapons is down 85 percent from maximum cold war levels, falling to 4,804 in 2013 from a high of 31,255. But, she said, "We still have more work to do."
As you all might know, I have been traveling quite a bit lately and was just recently in the Czech Republic for a conference on the Prague Agenda. I reminded people at that conference that when President Obama laid out his vision for the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons, he made it clear that it was not a desirable, but unattainable dream. The Prague Agenda is an achievable long-term goal and one worth fighting for. I will say here what I said in Prague. There should be no doubt: the U.S. commitment to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons is unassailable. We continue to pursue nuclear disarmament and we will keep faith with our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) commitments, prominent among them, Article VI. Our responsible approach to disarmament has borne fruit in the form of major reductions in nuclear weapons, fissile material stocks and infrastructure. These efforts have led us to reduce our nuclear arsenal by approximately 85% from its Cold War heights. In real numbers, that means we have gone from 31,255 nuclear weapons in our active stockpile in 1967 to 4,804 in 2013. We know we still have more work to do.
According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is put out by the Federation of American Scientists, Russia has about the same number of active weapons now as the U.S., and both countries have several thousand more warheads awaiting deactivation. Due to security concerns governments are reluctant to divulge exact numbers, but it's generally beleived that most of the older nuclear powers (U.S., Russia, the UK, and France) have reportedly been gradually declining their stockpiles. Israel, never publicly acknowledging its possession of nuclear weapons, is believed to be holding steady on its stockpile. China, India, and Pakistan, on the other hand, are all still believed to be gradually increasing their numbers. The exact status of North Korea's nuclear program and stockpile of weapons remains unknown.
Not only is China's stockpile of nuclear weapons believed to still be on the increase, but this week the Washington Free Beacon reported that China is continuing to develop delivery systems. This past Saturday, China conducted a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering multiple warheads.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the report.
10:01 AM, Dec 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Foreign Policy reports that the U.S. believes Iran is cheating on U.N. nuclear sanctions. "The United States has privately accused Iran of going on an international shopping spree to acquire components for a heavy-water reactor that American officials have long feared could be used in the production of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium," reports Colum Lynch.
5:25 PM, Nov 24, 2014 • By MICHAEL LEDEEN
He did it again, as we should have expected. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei walked us right up to the finish line, spat on us, and walked away. Months and months of secret and public talks, letters, back channels, and gestures produced nothing of the sort the president, assorted foreign ministers, pundits, and politicians had been predicting. Instead we are to keep talking, and keep paying the Islamic Republic for the pleasure and privilege.
12:05 PM, Nov 24, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Today we learned that it has been impossible to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Even a short "framework" agreement or one-pager was beyond reach. And this, despite the extension of the talks from the original deadline last spring.
11:12 AM, Nov 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Emergency Committee for Israel calls for Congress to "reimpost" Iran sanctions and to "limit the president's authority to waive sanctions."
"After relaxing sanctions and making ill-advised concessions on Iran's nuclear program, the Obama administration has nonetheless been unable to close a deal," the ECI statement reads.
8:40 AM, Nov 24, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
The deadline for the Joint Plan of Action ended it seems without a final agreement between the P5+1 and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. It’s not yet clear what happens next.
8:34 AM, Nov 19, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Contradicting reports that Secretary of State John Kerry has delayed a trip to Vienna to join the nuclear talks with Iran, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki tweeted
10:46 AM, Nov 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program drag on as ponderously as the last two minutes of an NBA playoff game. And now, as Sangwon Yoon of Bloomberg reports:
4:50 PM, Nov 17, 2014 • By TZVI KAHN
How to explain America’s failure, after 20 years of efforts, to impose genuinely crippling sanctions on Iran? Start with the penchant of the executive branch—from Presidents Clinton to Obama—for excluding Congress from the process.
The Verification Regime9:28 AM, Nov 13, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki’s sparring with reporters the last week suggests that the White House is either confused, or intentionally confusing the public, about the importance of the IAEA’s current round of inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities.
1:35 PM, Nov 7, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee published an important scoop yesterday. President Obama “secretly wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the middle of last month and described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.” The “letter appeared aimed both at buttressing the campaign against [the] Islamic State and nudging Iran’s religious leader closer to a nuclear deal.”
8:04 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Some American and Iranian diplomats have been spending so much time together lately that they're beginning to crack jokes with one another.
12:10 PM, Oct 10, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Experts continue to debate whether the explosion at an Iranian military base at Parchin earlier in the week was an act of sabotage.