TOP NEWS Iranian rocket launch ends in failure, imagery shows National Public Radio U.S. intel report says mysterious Russian explosion was triggered by recovery mission of nuclear-powered missile, not a test CNBC Pakistan tested a ballistic missile amid ongoing tensions with India CNN Abu Musa Island: The “beating heart” of Iran in the Persian Gulf Arms Control Wonk Middle East Iranian rocket launch ends in failure, imagery shows National Public Radio8/29/19 Satellite imagery shared exclusively with NPR shows that an Iranian rocket appears to have exploded on the launch pad Thursday. Iran official says any U.S. president would have pulled out of nuclear deal Radio Farda8/29/19 In an unprecedented remark Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (Araghchi) has said that “Any U.S. president other than Trump would have also pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran,” the official news agency IRNA quoted him as saying Wednesday August 28. Former British ambassador says US ‘deliberately provoking’ Iran to dismantle nuclear deal CNBC8/27/19 President Donald Trump on Monday struck a softer tone on Iran, assuring that the White House was not looking for regime change and suggesting that a new Iran deal could be struck quickly. Iran’s nuclear chief promises ‘good news’ on heavy water reactor Al-Monitor8/29/19 This week Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walked back suggestions that the United States and Iran are close to talks. Russia/Europe U.S. intel report says mysterious Russian explosion was triggered by recovery mission of nuclear-powered missile, not a test CNBC8/29/19 A U.S. intelligence report says the mysterious explosion off Russia’s northern coast occurred during a recovery mission to salvage the Kremlin’s nuclear-powered missile from the ocean floor. East Asia Experts: North Korea’s nuclear-capable missile threat real but not imminent Voice of America8/29/19 The threat of North Korea launching a nuclear-capable missile from a submarine is real but not imminent, experts said, after recent satellite images displayed a docked craft with missile capability. North Korean constitution makes Kim Jong Un’s power ‘monolithic’ Al Jazeera8/30/19 North Korea’s legislature approved changes to the constitution to solidify leader Kim Jong Un’s role as head of state, elevating him to the status of his grandfather – the communist nation’s founder. Japan requests record $50 billion defense budget in eighth straight increase Defense Post8/30/19 Japan’s defense ministry on Friday, August 30 requested a record $50.3 billion budget to fund purchases of fighter jets and missile defense as the country eyes the threat from North Korea and China. South Asia Pakistan tested a ballistic missile amid ongoing tensions with India CNN8/29/19 Pakistan announced Thursday that it had successfully tested a surface-to-surface missile with the capacity of carrying various types of warheads over distances up to 290 kilometers (180 miles). Commentary/Opinion/Analysis Abu Musa Island: The “beating heart” of Iran in the Persian Gulf Arms Control WonkCyrus Jabbari 8/29/19 Recent military deployments and actions taken by the IRGC on the island suggest that Abu Musa may serve as the crux of Iran’s asymmetric warfare operations in the Persian Gulf. The new nuclear arms race is here, and Russia’s already paying the price VICEGreg Walters 8/30/19 As Russia tests and deploys an array of exotic new nuclear weapons, fears are mounting that the next nuclear mishap may not be so easily contained. Can Europe rescue the nuclear nonproliferation regime? Carnegie EuropeJudy Dempsey 8/29/19 A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world. Aging nuclear plants, industry cost-cutting, and reduced safety oversight: a dangerous mix Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsEdwin Lyman 8/29/19 After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) set up a task force to assess whether there were deficiencies in its oversight of nuclear reactor safety.