Nuclear Policy News – May 8, 2018

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets Chinese President Xi, again
Washington Post

Trump Is Expected to Leave Iran Deal, Allies Say
New York Times

Trump Calls Kerry’s Push for Iran Deal ‘Possibly Illegal.’ Legal Scholars Shrug.
New York Times

U.S. Allies Push for Trump to Stay in Iran Nuclear Deal
Wall Street Journal


Trump mutes his attacks on North Korea’s ‘depraved’ policies
As he pursues a nuclear deal with Kim Jong Un, human rights advocates hope Trump won’t forget to focus on Kim’s domestic abuses.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets Chinese President Xi, again
Washington Post5/8/18
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his second visit to China in as many months, visiting the port city of Dalian for another meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday.

No matter what Trump says on Iran, China will probably ignore him
China would likely ignore any reimposed U.S. sanctions should Washington pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, said experts.


Trump teases Iran nuclear deal announcement
President Donald Trump will announce his decision on whether the US will pull out of the Iran nuclear accord at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, he wrote in a tweet.

How killing the nuclear deal could make it easier for Iran to pursue the bomb in secret
Washington Post5/8/18
In the three years since the start of the Iran nuclear agreement, a cluster of buildings near the Austrian capital has served as an unblinking eye over Tehran’s most sensitive factories and research labs. But perhaps not for much longer.

Trump Is Expected to Leave Iran Deal, Allies Say
New York Times5/7/18
President Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday that he is withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, European diplomats said after concluding that they had failed to convince him that reneging on America’s commitment to the pact could cast the West into new confrontation with Tehran.

What scrapping the Iran nuclear deal could mean for the U.S.
As Trump approached a May 12 deadline to make a decision about sanctions, we asked analysts about the president’s options and what’s next.

What Trump’s decision on Iran nuclear deal means for oil prices
Washington Post5/7/18
President Trump said he would announce Tuesday whether he will scrap the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions, but the uncertainty over his decision has already been roiling the Iranian economy and international oil markets.

Trump Calls Kerry’s Push for Iran Deal ‘Possibly Illegal.’ Legal Scholars Shrug.
New York Times5/7/18
President Trump on Monday accused John Kerry, the former secretary of state, of engaging in “possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy” — a charge disputed by some legal scholars who say the same characterization could have applied to Mr. Trump when he was a candidate.

Iranian cleric – Supreme leader predicted nuclear deal would fail
A prominent Iranian cleric said on Tuesday that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had predicted the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers would collapse, Fars news agency said.

Trump may leave the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday. Here’s what comes next
A U.S. exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal begins with President Donald Trump’s anticipated decision on Tuesday to restore sanctions against Iranian oil exports.

Stocks open lower ahead of Trump’s Iran deal announcement
Stocks opened lower on Tuesday as Wall Street braced for President Donald Trump’s decision on whether he will pull the United States from the Iran nuclear deal signed three years ago.

U.S. Allies Push for Trump to Stay in Iran Nuclear Deal
Wall Street Journal5/7/18
President has criticized the pact as ‘ridiculous;’ there have been no indications that his concerns have been assuaged


The Latest: EU underlines its support for Iran nuclear deal
Washington Post5/8/18
The European Union is underlining its support for the Iran nuclear agreement as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to announce his verdict on the future of the deal.


Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Technology for Development: IAEA Director General Briefs Researchers in Ireland
The IAEA’s work in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and its support to countries to use nuclear science and technology for development were the focus of discussions and a speech by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in Ireland last week.


The US May Seek Defenses Against Russian Missiles. We Need to Talk about That.
Defense One5/7/18
If the Trump administration goes down that path, it should boldly declare a change in strategy, not hide behind ambiguity.

University fined for lost plutonium
Idaho State University has been fined after it lost track of a small amount of plutonium 239, a substance used to make nuclear weapons.

Pentagon Wants To Deploy ‘Low-Yield’ Nuclear Weapons To Deter Russia From Similar Ones
The Pentagon says one is needed to plausibly deter any plans by Russia to use smaller nukes.

Majority say US should not withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement
Almost two-thirds of Americans — 63% — believe that the US should not withdraw from the agreement made with Iran to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons. Only 29% believe the US should withdraw, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.


Here’s How the Nuclear Deal Slowed Iran Down
New York Times5/7/18
Here’s how the deal restricted Iran, and what could happen if President Trump withdraws from the agreement.

Why Did a Creepy Israeli Intel Firm Spy on Obama Alums?
New York TimesMichelle Goldberg
On Saturday, the British newspaper The Observer published an article that, if true, should rocket into the top tier of Donald Trump scandals. Aides to the president, it said, “hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a ‘dirty ops’ campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal.”

A letter to Donald Trump: Fix the Iran Deal, don’t nix it
The HillRep. Lois Frankel
We should remain in the deal and work with our international partners to strengthen it. Otherwise, we risk returning to a time when Iran was just months away from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

Nuclear annihilation is sum of all global fears as Trump squares off
The HillStewart Patrick
No danger weighs as heavily on the minds of leading global thinkers as the specter of nuclear war.

Former South Korea special envoy: Why I’m hopeful about North Korea
Washington PostHong Seok-Hyun
Although there are concerns over all the uncertainties, I harbor cautious optimism for the road ahead because I discern a sincerity in Kim. To test that sincerity, we need to give Kim the benefit of the doubt.

Make North Korea’s Nuclear Test Pause Permanent
38NorthJon Wolfsthal
The chance to end the North’s test program should be seized and, if successful, could form the basis for expanding direct contact and trust between Washington and Pyongyang, while expanding the global norm against nuclear testing.

The Alternate Future Hinging on Trump’s Iran Decision
The AtlanticUri Friedman
In one scenario, the Islamic Republic slowly restarts its nuclear program—and further destabilizes the region.

What Happens if the U.S. Bows Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal?
Foreign Policy5/7/18
By reimposing sanctions, Trump risks alienating Europe and freeing Iran to revive its nuclear program.

The Iran Deal Debate in the Shadow of the Iraq War
The AtlanticPeter Beinart
Many of the assumptions that guided America’s march to conflict in 2003 still dominate American foreign policy today.

Moscow Has Little Reason to Return to the INF Treaty
Defense OneAlexander Velez-Green
The incentives that led Gorbachev to sign the pact are gone. The U.S. needs to prepare for a post-INF world.

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