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U.N. Chief Eyes Eight Holdouts in Nuke Test Ban Treaty

Nuclear Abolition News | IPSCredit: CTBTO

By THALIF DEEN

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - A group of about 20 “eminent persons” is to be tasked with an unenviable job: convince eight recalcitrant countries to join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). 

The eight holdouts – China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States – have not given any indication of possible ratifications, leaving the treaty in limbo. [P] ARABIC | GERMAN | JAPANESE  | TURKISH

Disarmament Deal Takes Two Steps Back

Nuclear Abolition News | IPS

By PAVOL STRACANSKY

MOSCOW (IPS) - A Kremlin compromise on nuclear disarmament looks as far away as ever as Russian president Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama use their countries’ strained relations to bolster their own domestic political agendas, experts say.

Obama’s call, during a speech in Berlin in June 2013, for a dramatic reduction in the world’s nuclear weapons had led to hopes that there would be cuts in world nuclear arsenals on the agenda of a potential nuclear summit in 2016, and gave extra impetus to what will be the first-ever high level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on nuclear disarmament in September 2013. [P] | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION 

Nuclear Test Moratorium Threatened by North Korean Impunity

Nuclear Abolition News | IPSImage credit: NK News

By THALIF DEEN

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - When the United Nations commemorates the International Day Against Nuclear Tests later this week, the lingering question in the minds of most anti-nuclear activists is whether or not the existing moratorium on testing will continue to be honoured – or occasionally violated with impunity. [P] ARABIC | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION| SWEDISH

ICAN Australia Shows The Way To Abolish Nukes

Nuclear Abolition News | IDN

By NEENA BHANDARI

SYDNEY (IDN) - Even as the nuclear-armed countries continue to amass new warheads and build and modernise ballistic missiles, bombers and submarines to launch them, the campaign for nuclear abolition is growing from strength to strength. [P] ARABIC TEXT VERSION |  CHINESE TEXT VERSION |  GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION | KOREAN TEXT VERSION | TURKISH

Iran and P5+1 Talk About New Nuclear Talks

Nuclear Abolition News | IDN

By JAYA RAMACHANDRAN

BERLIN (IDN) - Preparations are afoot for a new, and perhaps a promising, round of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. According to Press TV, Kazakhstan is willing to host the negotiations for the third time in succession this year.

India Can Be Nuclear Suppliers' Credible Partner

Nuclear Abolition NewsViewpoint | IDSA

By RAJIV NAYAN*

NEW DELHI - Some of the Nuclear Suppliers Group members are expressing unnecessary apprehensions regarding India’s membership. Unlike China, India has a track record of complying with obligations of any treaty or agreement it signs.

U.S.-Russia Rift Could Impact Upcoming Nuke Talks

Nuclear Abolition News | IPS

By THALIF DEEN

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - The growing political rift between the United States and Russia triggered by the granting of temporary asylum to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is now holed up in Moscow, is threatening to further undermine relations between the two superpowers at the United Nations. [P] ARABIC | BAHASA | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | PORTUGUESE | SPANISH

Ex-Envoy’s Account Clarifies Iran’s 2003 Nuclear Decision

Nuclear Abolition News | IPS

By GARETH PORTER

WASHINGTON (IPS) - Newly published recollections by the former French ambassador to Iran suggest that Iran was not running a covert nuclear weapons programme that it then decided to halt in late 2003, as concluded by U.S. intelligence in 2007. [P] ARABIC | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

North Korea and a Nuclear Weapons Ban

Nuclear Abolition NewsEssay | IDN

By FREDERICK N. MATTIS*

ANNAPOLIS, USA (IDN) - To abolish nuclear weapons, North Korea and all states would have to join the ban before its entry into force, for three reasons. First, the nuclear ban (or abolition) treaty, often called a Nuclear Weapons Convention, would not create true abolition unless all states are parties to it. Second, current nuclear powers in all likelihood would not join unless the ban when enacted is truly global. (There already exists the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been joined by all but nine states as “non-nuclear weapon” parties.) Third, unanimity of accession by states would give the ban unprecedented geopolitical force for ongoing compliance by states - desirable in itself, and a crucial incentive for today’s nuclear weapon possessors to actually renounce their arsenals.

Israel Resumes Threats Against Iran as Experts Urge Patience

Nuclear Abolition News | IPS

By JIM LOBE

WASHINGTON (IPS) - As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resumed his threats to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, 29 former senior U.S. experts and foreign diplomats urged President Barack Obama to show greater flexibility in anticipated negotiations following the inauguration of President-elect Hassan Rouhani.

“While it will take time to secure an agreement to resolve all concerns, diplomacy will only succeed if we are prepared to leverage existing sanctions and other incentives in exchange for reciprocal Iranian concessions,” according to the letter.

It was signed by, among others, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering and Bruno Pelleau, the former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). [P] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

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