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Iran Update No. 166

  • United States and Iran claim willingness to negotiate, but on what terms?
  • E3+3 (P5+1) talks end with an agreement for future talks
  • IAEA meets with Iran; new Agency report indicates Iran installing new centrifuges but curbing stockpiles of sensitive fissile material
  • U.S. expands sanctions on Iran, but Israel urges for even tighter measures
  • Concerns over the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline
  • In advance of Obama's visit to Israel, report indicates Iran to deliver non-nuclear weapons pledge
  • U.S. Director of Intelligence: Iran has not decided to build nuclear weapons

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E3+3 (P5+1) meet tomorrow with Iran in Kazakhstan

The E3+3 (P5+1: United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) will meet with Iran on Tuesday for official talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the first formal meeting in eight months. These talks follow last week’s update report from the IAEA on Iran’s nuclear program, indicating that a new type of centrifuge was installed at Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant, Natanz, that could speed up the enrichment process, and increase the accumulation of 20 per cent low-enriched uranium.

The State of the Union: Obama to announce further nuclear reductions?

President Obama will address the American public in his State of the Union address tomorrow. Last week U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Munich, suggesting that the President will address their shared interests in “advancing a comprehensive nuclear agenda to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, [and] reduce[d] global stockpiles of nuclear materials”.

Iran meets with IAEA representatives again

Representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran will meet in Tehran on Wednesday of this week to discuss inspections and verification arrangements. The meeting follows several previous unsuccessful attempts between the two sides to agree on a path forward on how to address the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran Update 164

  • Iranian officials meeting with IAEA delegation today
  • International concern over developments at Bushehr
  • Iran displays ‘downed’ ScanEagle drone
  • Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak to resign
  • Associated Press publishes inaccurate document that claims to show advanced nuclear program

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Russia in the Middle East

With recent regime changes and ongoing conflicts, the Middle East is a major concern for security threats and proliferation of WMD.  The international community is heavily involved in the region, but it seems that Russia's goals in and for the Middle East have been scrutinized by Western powers.

Iran Update 163

  • IAEA reports that Iran has added more centrifuges at underground enrichment facility, but additional centrifuges not operating
  • Iran and IAEA to resume talks on December 13th
  • Iran says willing to attend conference for Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction
  • Close calls regarding Israeli attacks on Iran come to light
  • Britain may not cooperate in any military attack by the United States and Israel
  • EU reinforcing sanctions against Iran
  • Iran fires upon U.S. drone
  • Iran’s nuclear power plant likely experiencing more problems

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The E3+3 discuss Iran after release of IAEA report

On Wednesday, Catherine Ashton, will host representatives from the E3+3 (P5+1: US, UK, China, Russia, France, and Germany) in Brussels to discuss continued efforts to find a diplomatic solution to discourage Iran from augmenting its nuclear program. Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has facilitated meetings between the E3+3 and Iran since 2009, which have so far yielded limited results.

Iran Update 162

  • Talks continue over nuclear program without clear progress
  • IAEA Director General’s latest report on Iran’s nuclear program shows growth in enrichment capabilities, but analysts speculate over implications
  • Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran and U.N. General Assembly opening in New York draw more attention to crisis
  • Sanctions effects deepen; Canada closes embassy
  • Concerns rise over Iranian plans for Arak facility

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Getting to Zero Update

Officials from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (“P5”) held their third special forum since 2009 to discuss nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, this time in Washington, DC. Separately, representatives from Iran and the P5 plus Germany, have met at various levels without producing a breakthrough over Iran’s nuclear program amid rising tensions in the Middle East.

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