Nuclear Policy News – March 14, 2018

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What Tillerson’s Departure Means For Negotiations With Iran And North Korea

Fears grow for future of Iran nuclear deal in wake of Tillerson’s removal
The Guardian

Russia Is Preparing to Test its Most Powerful Nuke
The Diplomat

Pakistan wants to strengthen ties with IAEA, says PM


U.S. general signals support for Iran nuclear deal
A top U.S. general on Tuesday signaled support for the Iran nuclear deal, saying the agreement, which President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from, has played an important role in addressing Iran’s nuclear program.

JCPOA joint commission to convene on March 16
Tehran Times3/13/18
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a statement on Monday announcing that the joint commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will take place in Vienna on March 16.

Europe could work to keep nuclear deal alive without U.S.: commentary
Tehran Times3/13/18
In a commentary published by Reuters on Monday, it is said that if the U.S. withdraws from the 2015 nuclear deal, Europe could work with other international powers to keep the agreement alive.

Fears grow for future of Iran nuclear deal in wake of Tillerson’s removal
The Guardian3/13/18
The abrupt dismissal of Rex Tillerson as US secretary of state was seen overseas as a hardening of the Donald Trump’s America First policy, a serious blow to the future of the Iran nuclear deal, and a possible harbinger of a full-blown trade war with the European Union.

Saudi cabinet approves nuclear power program national policy: SPA
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved on Tuesday the national policy of the atomic energy program, state news agency SPA reported.

Gulf Arabs relish Tillerson firing; Iran weighs nuclear deal
ABC News3/14/18
Reactions in the Middle East on Wednesday to the firing of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reflect the volatile divide between Iran, where many fear his departure heralds the demise of the 2015 nuclear deal, and Gulf Arab nations hoping for a more hawkish U.S. stance toward Tehran and Qatar.


Russia Is Preparing to Test its Most Powerful Nuke
The Diplomat3/13/18
Russia is preparing more tests of its newest intercontinental ballistic missile.


Pakistan wants to strengthen ties with IAEA, says PM
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said that with decades of experience in use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes Pakistan is ready to further strengthen partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals worldwide.


‘It’s not a problem of who has them; it’s a problem of the weapon.’
Chatham House3/14/18
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, speaks with Nina Black about making multilateral action on disarmament more effective, and what she thinks of a Trump–Kim nuclear summit.


What Tillerson’s Departure Means For Negotiations With Iran And North Korea
The firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gives the State Department a new head diplomat: former CIA Director Mike Pompeo. NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution about what the shakeup means for negotiations with Iran and North Korea.

The State Department is riddled with key vacancies as Trump seeks nuclear talks with North Korea
As President Donald Trump steps up efforts to engage North Korea in nuclear disarmament talks, the State Department is in the most turmoil since the president’s inauguration.

One of the U.S.’s most senior military officials expressed support Tuesday for a nuclear deal that was struck between the U.S., Iran and other leading world powers in 2015 and has since been opposed by President Donald Trump and some members of his administration.


Does North Korea Really Have a Nuclear Bomb?
The National InterestSalvatore Babones
North Korea’s nuclear tests, as so much else about the country, have taken a road less traveled.

The unlikely North Korea summit: Trump just might pull it off
The HillHerbert London
It is worth recalling that historical moment with the present stance adopted by President Trump and the prospective summit with North Korea. President Trump’s high-wire act is fraught with peril. His advisers have argued for conventional diplomacy, but that simply isn’t Trump.

The New Secretary of State Is a North Korea Hawk
The AtlanticUri Friedman
Just two days before he was named Rex Tillerson’s successor as secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo appeared on the Sunday morning shows and staked out exceedingly ambitious goals for Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump is walking into Kim Jong Un’s trap
The Washington PostJeffrey Lewis
President Donald Trump seems to think that he’s off to pick up North Korea’s stockpile of nuclear bombs. The problem is that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said nothing of the sort.

Saudi nuclear deal presents diplomatic dilemma for U.S.
AxiosJackie Kempfer
When Saudi Arabia opened the bid for construction of its first nuclear power plant, the U.S.–based manufacturer Westinghouse was eager to beat out Russia’s Rosatom and China’s National Nuclear Corporation for the deal.

How to Save the Iran Nuclear Deal
Foreign AffairsIlan Goldenberg and Elizabeth Rosenberg
A Grand Bargain That Can Satisfy Both Trump and the Deal’s Supporters

Tillerson’s Ouster Could Kill the Iran Nuclear Deal
PoliticoMichael Crowley
The secretary of state’s would-be replacement, Mike Pompeo, is an ardent hawk who says the agreement is ‘disastrous.’

Tillerson’s Exit Could Doom the Iran Nuclear Deal
Foreign PolicyDan De Luce and Keith Johnson
The accord’s survival was already tenuous. But after Trump’s cabinet shakeup, it’s likely to end.


Negotiations With North Korea May Have Cyber Consequences
38NorthAdam Meyers
While the North Koreans have reportedly agreed to a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests during inter-Korean and US-DPRK talks, they are likely to see clandestine offensive cyber operations as a potential response to continued debilitating sanctions, as well as for further intelligence gathering.

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