Nuclear Policy News – August 25, 2021

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Top News:

Russia to continue building Yasen-class nuclear-powered submarines

China’s massive military, nuclear build-up cause for major concern: US Admiral

U.S. back to waiting on North Korea amid standoff
The Korea Herald


United States

OPINION: Biden will discover Bennett is no Bibi
The Hill – David Makovsky
Bennett heads a hybrid government, which uniquely spans the Israeli political spectrum. It has a wafer-thin majority, and this has put a premium on Bennett seeking common ground amid a range of right, center and left-leaning parties.

East Asia

China’s massive military, nuclear build-up cause for major concern: US Admiral
The head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has said that China’s military expansion, the largest military build-up in history since the second world war, is a cause for major concern.

U.S. back to waiting on North Korea amid standoff
The Korea Herald8/25/21
The U.S. is being forced back to former President Barack Obama’s strategic patience on North Korea, as Pyongyang rebuffs any diplomatic outreach and shows no signs of returning to nuclear negotiations, experts said Wednesday.

Middle East

Gantz says world needs a ‘Plan B’ to the faltering Iran nuclear deal
Times of Israel8/25/21
At briefing to some 60 foreign diplomats, defense minister says Iranian leadership approved deadly attack on Israeli-linked oil tanker, and drone was launched from Iran’s territory.

Bennett to U.S. congressmen: Preventing a nuclear Iran is America’s interest
Times of Israel8/25/21
In bipartisan Zoom call ahead of Washington trip, PM says Israel will never ask for U.S. troops to be sent to defend Jewish state, argues return to nuke deal no longer possible.

Iran articulates nuclear positions ahead of Vienna talks
Tehran Times8/24/21
While the new Iranian president, Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, is busy forming his administration, Western countries impatiently ask the new Iranian government to set a date for the resumption of the Vienna nuclear talks.

As Bennett meets Biden, IDF ramps up plans for strike on Iran’s nuke program
Times of Israel8/25/21
Military, defense minister believe a credible threat of an Israeli attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities is only way US will be able to negotiate better deal with Islamic Republic.

Russia and Europe

Wildfires Near Russia’s Nuclear Research Center Spark State of Emergency
Moscow Times8/24/21
Russian authorities have declared an interregional state of emergency as tough-to-contain forest fires threaten the country’s top-secret nuclear weapons research center, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing the emergencies ministry.

Russia to continue building Yasen-class nuclear-powered submarines
Currently, seven such submarines are at various stages of their construction at the Sevmash Shipyard in northwestern Russia.

Vladimir Putin orders nuclear submarines to boost navy forces – but Kremlin vows not to interfere in Afghanistan crisis
Sky News8/23/21
Vladimir Putin wants to arm Russia with “state-of-the-art weapons” to boost the “potential” of his country’s navy. However, the Kremlin has insisted it will not be interfering in the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.


ANALYSIS: The State of Disarmament: NPT Progress since 2015
NTI – Caleb Yip
When the long-delayed Tenth Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (RevCon) convenes next year, it will do so at a time of increasing division between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states and growing frustration about the pace of progress toward global disarmament.

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