Nuclear Policy News – May 9, 2018

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Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned
New York Times

After Trump says U.S. will withdraw from Iran deal, allies say they’ll try to save it
Washington Post

Iranians Fear Deeper Crisis as Trump Ends Nuclear Deal
New York Times

North Korea releases 3 American prisoners ahead of a planned Trump-Kim summit
Washington Post

Kim’s Second Surprise Visit to China Heightens Diplomatic Drama
New York Times


North Korea releases 3 American prisoners ahead of a planned Trump-Kim summit
Washington Post5/9/18
“I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “They seem to be in good health.”

‘A Deal Mr. Kim Cannot Refuse.’ North Korean Leader Could Be Offered Regime Security
As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Pyongyang to lay the foundation for a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean officials are hopeful that the two leaders can secure a deal in the weeks ahead that would lead to complete denuclearization of the peninsula in exchange for regime security.

Trump Links Iran Decision to North Korea
President Donald Trump wants North Korea to cut a deal to give up its nuclear weapons. But on Tuesday, he walked away from a similar deal — one that called on Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.

Japan says to normalise North Korea ties if nuclear, abduction issues are solved
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday his nation will normalise ties with North Korea if the nuclear and missile issues, along with that of the abduction of Japanese citizens, are solved comprehensively.

Pompeo arrives in North Korea; Trump cites hope for detainees
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday to prepare an unprecedented summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, while the U.S. president signaled the possibility that three Americans detained in the country could soon be released.

Kim’s Second Surprise Visit to China Heightens Diplomatic Drama
New York Times5/8/18
The leaders of China and North Korea met for the second time in two months on Tuesday, staying overnight in this Chinese port city as China worked to regain control in the fast-moving diplomacy over the North’s nuclear program.

China Teases Its H-20 Stealth Bomber and Trolls Northrop Grumman At The Same Time
The Drive5/8/18
The clip from China’s state-run aviation consortium shows what looks to be a flying wing type aircraft under a sheet.


Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned
New York Times5/8/18
President Trump declared on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, unraveling the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama, isolating the United States from its Western allies and sowing uncertainty before a risky nuclear negotiation with North Korea.

Trump pulls United States out of Iran nuclear deal, calling the pact ‘an embarrassment’
Washington Post5/8/18
President Trump on Tuesday said he is pulling the United States out of the international nuclear deal with Iran, announcing that economic sanctions against Tehran will be reinstated and declaring that the 2015 pact was rooted in “fiction.”

The Iran Deal Will Limp Along Without America—for Now
The Atlantic5/8/18
Now that President Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the agreement, can Europe salvage it?

After Trump says U.S. will withdraw from Iran deal, allies say they’ll try to save it
Washington Post5/8/18
After President Trump announced Tuesday that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, key U.S. allies and others voiced concern about the fallout but vowed to salvage the deal.

Trump scuttles Iran nuclear deal but offers no plan for what comes next
Washington Post5/8/18
To many of his critics, including some in both parties and the European leaders who spent the past several months trying to address his concerns, there is no Plan B.

Iranians Fear Deeper Crisis as Trump Ends Nuclear Deal
New York Times5/8/18
The sense of crisis in Iran runs deep and wide.

Behind Trump’s Termination of Iran Deal Is a Risky Bet
New York Times5/8/18
For President Trump and two of the allies he values most — Israel and Saudi Arabia — the problem of the Iranian nuclear accord was not, primarily, about nuclear weapons.

Iran to negotiate with Europeans, Russia and China about remaining in nuclear deal
Washington Post5/8/18
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that his government remains committed to a nuclear deal with world powers, despite the U.S. decision to withdraw, but is also ready to resume uranium enrichment should the accord no longer offer benefits.

How Long Would It Take Iran to Build a Nuclear Bomb? It Depends
New York Times5/8/18
The answer is at least a year, maybe significantly longer, assuming Iran decided to make its own fuel, rather than buy it from another nuclear power.

How Pulling Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal Could Hurt the U.S. Economy
One country the sanctions could also hurt that he didn’t mention: the United States.

How Fast Iran Could Build a Nuclear Bomb
Wall Street Journal5/8/18
Iranian officials have said they could start enriching uranium within days, but U.S. officials are skeptical they would risk doing so

Fact Checker: Trump’s claim that Iran could build nuclear weapons in seven years
Washington Post5/8/18
Whatever he decides, Trump said, the international agreement would expire in seven years anyway, and Iran would be able to build nuclear weapons.

Oil hits 3-1/2-year high after U.S. quits Iran deal
Oil prices rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday, hitting 3-1/2-year highs, after U.S. President Trump abandoned a nuclear deal with Iran and announced the “highest level” of sanctions against the OPEC member.

Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal Trump Is Exiting: QuickTake
Washington Post5/8/18
Iran’s nuclear capabilities have been the subject of global hand-wringing for more than two decades.

Trump does not have mental capacity to deal with issues: Iran parliament speaker
U.S. President Donald Trump is not fit for his job, the speaker of Iran’s parliament said on Wednesday following his decision to back out of the international nuclear pact on Iran.

U.S. Pullout From Nuclear Deal Energizes Iranian Foes of Foreign Influence
Wall Street Journal5/9/18
Unraveling of pact is test of President Rouhani and others who see benefits in reaching out to West

Iran ‘grand bargain’ all but impossible as U.S. exits nuclear pact
The chances of securing a wider agreement with Iran on its nuclear, missile and regional activities appear slim at best after the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, current and former diplomats said.


E.U. Official Says the Iran Nuclear Deal Will Not ‘Fall Apart’ Without the U.S.
The Iran nuclear deal will not “fall apart” despite the United States withdrawing from the landmark accord, the European Union’s representative to China said Wednesday.


What Trump’s Iran Decision Means for India
The Diplomat5/8/18
A decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal will test India’s foreign policy as well as U.S.-India relations.


‘So Misguided.’ Barack Obama Weighs In On Trump’s Decision to Pull U.S. From Iran Nuclear Deal
Former President Barack Obama immediately criticized President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday that the United States would withdraw from the Iranian Nuclear deal – one of Obama’s signature foreign policy achievements – as misguided and irresponsible.

Obama calls Trump’s decision on Iran nuclear deal ‘misguided’
Former U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, struck during Obama’s presidency, was “misguided.”

No Longer Held Back by His Advisers, Trump Puts His Imprint on Foreign Policy
New York Times5/9/18
The caution that constrained President Trump for much of his first year in office has been cast aside, and an emboldened commander in chief is finally reshaping foreign policy to reflect the “America First” philosophy he promised during his campaign.


Trump axes the Iran deal and creates a new crisis
Washington PostIshaan Tharoor
Critics fear he is dooming a landmark agreement that is widely seen as effective — and setting the stage for Iran to make an actual push toward an atomic device.

Where’s That Better Deal, Mr. Trump?
New York Times5/8/18
So far, again and again, he has shown himself to be adept at destroying agreements — a relatively easy task for a president — and utterly lacking in the policy depth or strategic vision and patience to create new ones.

I voted against the Iran nuclear deal. Withdrawing from it is a mistake.
JTABen Cardin
President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal, is bad policy and calls into question America’s international credibility.

Trump Vindicates Iranian Hardliners And Victimizes Ordinary Citizens
Huffington PostTrita Parsi and Ryan Costello
Today, as U.S. President Donald Trump tears up the agreement, the Iranian people are once again those who will suffer most. Iranian hardliners, empowered by the deal’s failure, are sharpening their knives for Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and the chances of catastrophic war are undoubtedly greater.

What Is Kim Jong-un’s Game?
New York Times5/8/18
Mr. Kim’s apparent move to reconcile with his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, is above all a gambit to get closer to America to keep China in check.

The Art of the Regime Change
Foreign PolicyStephen Walt
Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has one goal in mind — and no plan to achieve it.

Trump Vandalizes the Iran Deal
New York TimesNicholas Kristof
President Trump’s attempt to blow up the Iranian nuclear deal isn’t foreign policy. It’s vandalism.

Trump Has Wrecked One of the Most Successful Arms-Control Deals in Modern History
SlateFred Kaplan
The president withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal because of spite, ignorance, or both.

The North Korean Playbook Won’t Work With Iran
Foreign PolicyMahsa Rouhi
Hard-liners in Tehran and Washington are both drawing the wrong lessons from diplomacy with Pyongyang — and that could lead to war.

Trump to Iran: America’s Word is Worthless
New York TimesRoger Cohen
President Trump is withdrawing the United States from an Iran nuclear deal that has worked, in the name of unrelated demands that are unworkable, at very high cost to America’s alliances and the value of its word, with no viable alternative policy in place and at the risk of igniting the Middle East.

Trump’s Iran decision raises the stakes on North Korea
President Donald Trump’s scrapping of the Iran deal he inherited raised the stakes for a North Korean agreement he hopes to build, a contradiction over two aspiring nuclear powers that pose the biggest foreign policy challenge yet for his administration.

The 3 Biggest Consequences of Trump Pulling Out of the Iran Deal
Rolling Stone5/8/18
The decision is already having ripple effects around the world

Analysis: Trump pulled in 2 directions on Iran, North Korea
Washington Post5/8/18
Just as Donald Trump reached one hand out to North Korea, he yanked the other back from Iran.

How Diplomacy With North Korea Could Be Doomed From the Start
FortuneChristina Cliff
If the Americans arrive at the talks expecting a dismantling of the North Korean arsenal, the efforts at diplomacy could be doomed from the start.

The Specter of Katsura-Taft 2.0: Is a US-China Deal Far-Fetched?
38NorthRuediger Frank
The biggest mystery concerns possible outcomes. How much will Kim Jong Un really offer in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, a peace treaty to end the Korean War, diplomatic normalization with the United States and other concessions he may be seeking?

Why Russia Wants the Iran Nuclear Deal
Moscow TimesVladimir Frolov
Keeping the deal alive would prove a diplomatic coup for the Kremlin.

Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal is yet another major foreign policy gamble
Washington PostAaron Blake
Being a real estate mogul is, in a lot of ways, like being a gambler.

Rocket Motors On Nuclear Missiles Become A Test Case For Trump Industrial Policy
ForbesLoren Thompson
Later this month the White House will release the most comprehensive assessment of the defense industrial base conducted since the Cold War ended.

We Are Now in Uncharted Territory
Atlantic CouncilFrederick Kempe
Whether Trump’s decision today proves to be the right tonic to finally counter Iran’s multiple threats depends on whether the administration can craft a strategy that is as coherent as today’s action was bold. At the moment, that is not the case.

Iran Will Never Trust America Again
Foreign PolicyNarges Bajoghli
When the nuclear deal was signed, Revolutionary Guards told me they wanted a better relationship with America. Not anymore.

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