Top News Russia expects Iran nuclear deal to be back in effect before July 14 — spokeswoman TASS U.S. calls build-up of China’s nuclear arsenal ‘concerning’ Reuters COVID could spell delay for W80-4, NNSA says – but ‘a lot of margin’ remains Exchange Monitor United States U.S. calls build-up of China’s nuclear arsenal ‘concerning’ Reuters7/2/2021 The United States said on Thursday China’s rapid build-up of its nuclear forces was concerning and called on Beijing to engage with it “on practical measures to reduce the risks of destabilizing arms races.” Iran nuclear talks seen as best chance to free U.S. detainees The Hill7/2/2021 Advocates seeking the release of four Americans detained in Iran are growing increasingly concerned that failure to reach an agreement on rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal will squander the best chance for them to return home. Raytheon gets $2 billion U.S. Air Force contract for nuclear cruise missile Reuters7/1/2021 Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX.N) has been awarded an about $2 billion contract by the U.S. Air Force to develop and make a nuclear-armed cruise missile, the U.S. aerospace maker said on Thursday. COVID could spell delay for W80-4, NNSA says – but ‘a lot of margin’ remains Exchange Monitor6/25/2021 COVID-19-related delays at the Department of Energy and its vendors might delay refurbishment of a warhead intended for next-generation nuclear-tipped air-launched cruise missiles, the acting head of the National Nuclear Security Administration said this week in congressional testimony. East Asia China bolsters its nuclear options with new missile silos in a desert The New York Times7/2/2021 Satellite images of construction could fuel the debate over American nuclear modernization and the future of arms control negotiations. S. Korea, UN office hold joint youth forum on disarmament, nonproliferation Yonhap7/1/2021 Seoul has been championing the agenda, with last year’s adoption by a U.N. committee of a South Korea-drafted resolution on encouraging youth participation in disarmament and nonproliferation issues. Middle East Don’t sacrifice Lebanon in pursuit of nuclear deal with Iran, analysts caution Arab News7/2/2021 The analysts said that as the international community moved forward on nuclear negotiations with Iran – which sponsors Hezbollah’s political and military actions – it must ensure that Lebanon was not sacrificed to Iranian interests. EXCLUSIVE Iran restricts IAEA access to main enrichment plant after attack -diplomats Reuters7/1/2021 Iran has been restricting U.N. nuclear inspectors’ access to its main uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, citing security concerns after what it says was an attack on the site by Israel in April, diplomats say. Russia Russia expects Iran nuclear deal to be back in effect before July 14 — spokeswoman TASS7/1/2021 Russia expects that the talks on the return of the U.S. to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be successfully completed by the sixth anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal – July 14, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.