Asia

Iran Update: Number 151

Getting to Zero Update

NATO proceeded quietly with its Strategic Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, while U.S. and Russian disagreements over missile defense continued. The United States was also conducting a review of nuclear targeting. In the United Kingdom, the “successor” to the Vanguard-class submarine that carries Trident missiles officially entered “Initial Gate,” or the initial design phase.

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Chernobyl remembered

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl on April 26th 1986. Until the combined power of an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan on March 11th, it was the world’s worst civilian nuclear catastrophe. There are key differences between the two: Chernobyl was caused by human error and technological failure, whereas the Japanese tragedy, which is still unfolding, was the result of a natural disaster on an epic scale.

Getting to Zero Update

Russia and the United States have begun the exchange of information on their nuclear arsenals under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) as they assess next steps on arms control and also try to resolve their differences over missile defense. The Iranian and North Korean nuclear situations showed no signs of resolution, and instead pointed to more difficulties ahead.

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Getting to Zero Update

Getting to Zero Update

U.S. diplomatic cables reveal nuclear proliferation fears

The WikiLeaks cables have revealed that the United States has consistently rebuffed private appeals from the leaders of Arab states and Israel on the need for military action against Iran over its nuclear program, as successive administrations worked on a package of global economic sanctions.

The initial leak of 240 U.S. diplomatic cables from a total 251,000 provided to five newspapers in the UK, US, Germany, France and Spain contained the following information related to nuclear non-proliferation issues:

Iran

America's diplomatic secrets go public

"If you hang around with diplomats, they might be smiling to you, on the one hand, while at the same time, they're stabbing you in the back. It's reassuring because they are sticking to the same talking points in private and in public, whether they're talking to government officials or to journalists or to non-government organizations."

Anne Penketh, BASIC's Program Director, was interviewed about the WikiLeaks dump of U.S. cables with Michael Shire of the National Journal and Susan Glasser of Foreign Policy on WAMU radio.

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