smuggling

Non-state actors & WMD: Does ISIS have a pathway to a nuclear weapon?

Nuclear Security

On March 2014, during the Nuclear Security Summit held in the Netherlands, President Obama identified his number one concern as being the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan. UK Home Secretary Theresa May pinpointed her particular fear of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) acquisition of “chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons” in the “world’s first truly terrorist state”. Fortunately, there has not yet been a nuclear or radiological terrorist attack, but the smuggling of nuclear material remains a pivotal threat to nuclear security.

The threat of nuclear terrorism: a race between catastrophe and co-operation

“If there was an incident of nuclear terrorism, what happens thereafter? You can imagine if al Qa’eda attacked. You can see them saying, ‘Actually we’ve got more. We will blast more at a time that we choose.’ Even if it was not true there would be panicked emptying of cities globally. If an incident happened in an American city, the US would be under enormous pressure to use enormous military force to target whoever is connected in any way. You’d have widespread instability and conflict.”

BASIC Research Director Dr. Ian Kearns quoted in The National (Abu Dhabi)

Iran update: number 137

Summary

  • P5+1 Talks in Geneva: apparent breakthrough
  • Iran admits to developing covert nuclear enrichment plant
  • Iranian and US bi-lateral diplomacy receives boost
  • US officials says Iran has enriched enough nuclear fuel for eventual bomb
  • Obama changes missile defense plans
  • Malaysian middlemen accused of smuggling US military equipment and technology to Iran

 

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Iran update: number 129

Summary

  • Iran fires first of a new generation of solid-fuel missiles
  • Israel calls on incoming US administration to stay tough
  • Turkey offers mediation as P5+1 talks continue into the twilight days of Bush's Presidency
  • Iran warns US over air space violations, after US raid in Syria
  • Ahmadinejad congratulates Obama for election victory, then endures storm of controversy back home for his conciliatory gesture
  • Iran looking to collaborate with other suppliers as oil and gas prices plummet.

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Iran update: number 122

Summary

  • Possibility of the United States opening an interests section in Iran
  • Latest round of P5+1-Iran talks produces few results, despite US presence
  • Iran and the United States continue military exercises and aggressive posturing
  • Skepticism regarding Iranian claims of missile testing success
  • Russia may try Uzbek man for attempting to smuggle WMD components to Iran

There have been some notable changes in the Bush administration's approach towards Iran since the release of BASIC's last Iran Update.

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