This week, Iran and the P5+1/E3+3 group of world powers are under pressure to produce a comprehensive agreement around the former’s nuclear program by a deadline of Sunday, July 20th, or otherwise agree to extend their existing interim arrangement. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry were holding direct discussions after several foreign ministers from the P5+1 gathered in Vienna this past weekend to assess progress toward a long-term deal that would provide reassurance that Iran’s program will not be used for producing nuclear weapons.
This week, eyes are on Ukraine to see whether the presidential election held on Sunday will soon lead to more stability; while many Ukrainians look ahead to the challenge of grappling with the problems that led to the crisis – both internal and external. The crisis intensified dynamics of a deteriorating relationship between NATO and Russia, where prospects had already been bleak for nuclear arms control. The crisis has even led some to call for re-emphasizing the role of nuclear weapons in transatlantic security.
This edition of TacNukes News looks at the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the issue, and the U.S. Administration’s latest spending requests and plans for modernizing the B61 nuclear bombs.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, representatives from Iran and the P5+1: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany, will meet in Vienna to continue working toward a comprehensive agreement around Iran’s nuclear program. The last such meeting was held in mid-March – not long after the Russian invasion of Crimea, and some worried that the crisis would set back the talks.
This week, while all eyes are on the Olympic games in Russia, there may be brewing a quandary for the Obama Administration over how to address an alleged breach of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the two countries. Although the Administration has not formally confirmed its view on whether a violation occurred, several U.S. Congressmen are putting pressure on the Administration to take action (GSN/Feb. 7) against Russia.
Looking ahead to this coming year, 2014 is full of opportunities for reducing the value of nuclear weapons and developing arms control in ways that could improve security relations. Enough time remains before policymakers and analysts start talking about how we must focus on “managing expectations” for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in the spring of 2015.
This latest edition on tactical nuclear weapons in Europe includes news and recent articles related to the B-61 Life Extension Program in the United States and an update on developments in the Netherlands.
BASIC and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) run a joint project on reducing the role of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.