Guardian Council Ratifies Iran Deal
On the radar: Iranian Guardian Council approves nuclear accord; Obama administration explores Pakistan nuclear talks; Weighing nuke arsenal costs; Nuclear carriers break the bank; and North Korean warhead not small enough.
All green lights for Iran deal - “The final step for Iran to start carrying out the nuclear agreement was completed Wednesday, after an oversight panel ratified the bill passed by Parliament supporting the deal with six world powers”, reports Thomas Erdbrink for The New York Times. “The ratification by the veto-wielding panel, the 12-member Guardian Council… now clears the way for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to start dismantling thousands of centrifuges and redesign a heavy-water reactor.”
--“State television reported the news of the Guardian Council’s ratification, but devoted more attention to a video clip showing what appeared to be an underground ballistic missile storage facility, interviewing a commander boasting about Iran’s missile capabilities. That clip appeared to be part of the Iranian government’s efforts to project military strength and counteract doubts caused by the nuclear pact that Iranian security has been compromised.” Read the full story here. http://nyti.ms/1OCcyHu
U.S.- Pakistan nuclear negotiations - “The Obama administration is exploring a deal with Pakistan that would limit the scope of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the fastest-growing on earth”, writes David Sanger for The New York Times. A week ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Washington visit, talks... “focus on American concern that Pakistan might be on the verge of deploying a small tactical nuclear weapon… that would be far harder to secure than the country’s arsenal of larger weapons.”
--“‘If Pakistan would take the actions requested by the United States, it would essentially amount to recognition of rehabilitation and would essentially amount to parole,’ said George Perkovich, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who has maintained contacts with the Pakistani nuclear establishment. ‘I think it’s worth a try,’ Mr. Perkovich said. ‘But I have my doubts that the Pakistanis are capable of doing this.’” Get the full story here. http://nyti.ms/1jqsd1e
Want to learn more about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal? - Check out the Federation of American Scientists’ most recent report: “Pakistani Nuclear Forces 2011”, by Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris here. http://bit.ly/1Gf14IB
Critical decisions needed for nuke arsenal - “The primary systems of all three legs of the U.S. nuclear weapons triad are nearing the end of their service lives and are slated for replacement… Anxious to pare down next year’s budget request to Congress, the White House is reviewing the spending plans. Advocacy groups, sensing an opportunity for reductions, are coalescing around a set of steps to curtail the programs but have not recommended major changes to nuclear force structure”, writes Adam Mount for the Council on Foreign Relations.
--“Without a careful and concerted effort to address the spending packages, nuclear force structure will be determined by congressional infighting or by whichever programs happen to face major cost overruns… With the international community planning to gather to review the Nonproliferation Treaty, to negotiate on a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, and to draft a ban on nuclear weapons in Vienna next year, a sign of commitment to disarmament could assist American nuclear interests significantly in the coming years. Read the full story here. http://on.cfr.org/11jdWdu
Budget-busting nuclear carriers - “The US Navy’s latest Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear aircraft carriers - the largest ever built - is now $6 billion over budget with cost overruns of $4.7 billion on the first two ships alone, Senator John McCain said in a press release… Despite these enormous additional expenditures, McCain noted, significant questions still remain about the capability and reliability of the core systems of these aircraft carriers.”
--“Also on Wednesday, McCain released a new report on the cost overruns in the ‘America’s Most Wasted: Indefensible’ series in which he details the troubling cost-growth of the US Navy's Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier program. The new carriers are ‘[p]lagued by problems with immature technology, concurrent development and production and critical systems that cannot reliably perform their missions,’ the release stated.” Read the full story at Sputnik News here. http://bit.ly/1OxiuTx
NK warhead still too big for missiles - “‘North Korea has yet to master the skills needed to make nuclear warheads small enough to fit onto inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM)’, Vice Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo said Wednesday. In the massive military parade marking the ruling party's foundation anniversary last Saturday, North Korea displayed the KN-08 ICBMs tipped with a round warhead alongside 30 other types of weapons”, reports the Yonhap News Agency.
-- “‘North Korea has done several nuclear tests and we are concluding that they have made progress in the miniaturization skill,’ Baek said. Asked to confirm if North Korea could take as long as seven years to finish miniaturization as other nuclear-possessing countries do, Baek said seven years is the average time needed for the task. ‘The Defense Ministry is closely watching the progression of North Korea's related skills’, he added.” Get the full story here. http://bit.ly/1RK9J7l
--“Let’s talk about nukes openly”, by Priyanjali Malik for The Hindu. http://bit.ly/1hGo9rV
--“The nuclear verification technology that could change the game”, by Kelly Wadsworth for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. http://bit.ly/1REOVxT
--“Exposed: The U.S. Army Tested Its Own Nuclear ‘Dirty Bombs’”, by Joseph Trevithick for The National Interest. http://bit.ly/1VUnOVm
--“Is U.S. Missile Defense Aimed at China?”, featuring Theodore Postol and Tong Zhao. Thursday, October 15th from 2:00 - 3:00 PM at Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC. RSVP here. http://ceip.org/1L9dxMM
--“Time to Change the Narrative: Next Generation Engagement in the Nuclear Disarmament Debate”, featuring Paul Ingram. Thursday, October 15th at 4:00 PM at FCNL, Wilson Conference Room, 245 Second St. NE, Washington, DC. RSVP here. email@example.com
--“Prevention of and Response to the Arrival of a Dirty Bomb at a U.S. Port”, hearing by House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Tuesday, October 27th at 10:00 AM. Webcast on committee site here. http://1.usa.gov/1Moxnl8
--“Think Nuclear-Free Symposium! The Nuclear-Free Future Award”, sponsored by Green Cross International and the Heinrich Böll Foundation Washington. Thursday, October 29th from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM at Goethe-Institut Washington, 812 7th St. NW, Washington, DC. RSVP here. http://bit.ly/1P0wMfy
--“Reliving History: A Retrospective Trident”, featuring Rebecca Hersman and Franklin Miller. Wednesday, November 4th from 5:00 - 7:30 PM at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Second Floor B Room, 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC RSVP here. http://bit.ly/1VUkedS
--“Nuclear Detonation Effects in an Urban Area”, featuring John Mercier. Tuesday, November 10th from 12:00 - 1:30 PM at the Department of Science and Technology in Society at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Research Center, 900 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA. RSVP here. http://bit.ly/1KXP39b