U.S. agrees to join talks with IranIn a major policy shift, the United States said Wednesday it is prepared to join other nations in holding direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program if Iran first agrees to stop disputed nuclear activities that the West fears could lead to a bomb.'To underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution and to enhance prospects for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will come to the table,' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at the State Department.
The Swiss ambassador to the United States was called to the State Department earlier Wednesday to receive a copy of Rice's remarks for transmission to Iran, U.S. officials said. The United States has had no diplomatic ties with Iran and few contacts at all with its government since Islamic radicals took over the U.S. Embassy in 1979 and held diplomats there for more than a year.[ via MSNBC.com]
Upcoming Events of InterestOak Ridge, TN
June 15-16, 2006
Join the Atomic Heritage Foundation for a roundtable discussion and Manhattan Project Reunion with a reception on June 15. On June 16, they will hold morning tours of the K-25 site. At 1:30PM, a program will feature historian Robert Norris on "K-25: A Monumental Accomplishment" and others who will present visions for the future of K-25.
Los Alamos, NM
Oct. 6-7, 2006
Join the Atomic Heritage Foundation for a dedication of the "V Site," built to assemble the Trinity device and Fat Man in August 1944. Thanks to a Save America's Treasures grant, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is now completing renovation. They hope to have tours "behind the fence" to let the public see these properties for the first time. Dinner will be held in the historic Fuller Lodge, the heart of Manhattan Project social life. Saturday will feature a day-long program on "The Manhattan Project: Creativity in Science and the Arts".
For more information, visit: atomicheritage.org
U.S. Proposes New Nuclear Weapons TreatyUnited States proposed a treaty Thursday it said would curb proliferation of nuclear weapons and improve the world's leverage against 'hard cases' like Iran and North Korea by banning production of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium.
Stephen G. Rademaker, acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for arms control, told the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament that it should aim to approve a treaty by September. [via ABC News]
Oppenheimer Biography wins Pulitzer PrizeKai Bird and Martin Sherwin received a Pulitzer for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. We congratulates them on their well-deserved recognition!
Our review can be found here.
Iran spurns potential Europe incentivesIran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday rejected a possible European offer for incentives, including a light-water nuclear reactor, in return for allaying fears about his country's nuclear program by giving up uranium enrichment. "Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?" Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in a speech in central Iran.
European nations have weighed adding a light-water reactor to a package of incentives meant to persuade Tehran to permanently give up uranium enrichment - or face the threat of U.N. Security Council sanctions.[ via MSNBC.com]
Russia Begins Dismantling Ballistic Missile SubRussia has begun dismantling a Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine, Interfax reported yesterday. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]
Light-water nuclear reactor for Iran?Key European nations are considering offering Iran a light-water nuclear reactor as part of incentives meant to persuade Tehran to give up its uranium enrichment program, a senior diplomat said Tuesday. But a U.S. official said Washington would likely oppose the plan. [via MSNBC.com]
Suspect uranium found in IranThe U.N. atomic agency found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian site linked to the country's defense ministry, diplomats said Friday, adding to concerns that Tehran was hiding activities aimed at making nuclear arms.
The diplomats, who demanded anonymity in exchange for revealing the confidential information, said the findings were preliminary and still had to be confirmed through other lab tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared to be close to or above the level used to make nuclear warheads.
Still, they said, further analysis could show that the traces match others established to have come from abroad. The International Atomic Energy Agency determined earlier traces of weapons-grade uranium were imported on equipment from Pakistan that Iran bought on the black market during nearly two decades of clandestine activity discovered just over three years ago. [via MSNBC.com]
U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Deal Resource PageArms Control Today has created a resource page on the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation. It is a great collection of resources on this landmark accord. Arms Control Association
National Security Archive UpdateISRAEL CROSSES THE NUCLEAR THRESHOLD
The National Security Archive publishes for the first time 30 recently declassified U.S. government documents disclosing the existence of a highly secret policy debate, during the first year of the Nixon administration, over the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Broadly speaking, the debate was over whether it was feasible--either politically or technically--for the Nixon administration to try to prevent Israel from crossing the nuclear threshold, or whether the U.S. should find some "ground rules" which would allow it to live with a nuclear Israel. [via National Security Archive]
A new comedy about Richard Feynman & the Manhattan ProjectIf you happen to be in London, you might want to go see a new comedy about Richard Feynman entitled 'Clever Dick' at the Hampstead Theatre.
From the site: A month before the first atomic bomb is tested at the Trinity Site in the Alamogordo desert. The great American physicist Richard Feynman makes a wrong turn out of Albuquerque and ends up lost and confused in the last room in the only hotel in town. But there’s a Red under the bed, a ticking toad in the safe, and a very curious young girl with her own plans for this particular room on this particular night. Feynman suddenly finds himself entangled in a twisting tale of mistaken identity, espionage, and Einstein’s most famous equation.
Iran Uranium at Level to Fuel ReactorsIran's nuclear chief said Wednesday that Iran has enriched uranium up to 4.8 percent the upper end of the range needed to make fuel for reactors as it continues to defy U.S. and European demands to stop enrichment.
The announcement by nuclear chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh tops Iran's declaration last month that it had surpassed the 3.6 percent purity level. Uranium enriched to between 3.5 and 5 percent is used to make fuel for reactors to generate electricity. [via ABC News]
IAEA says Iran enriched uraniumInternational Atomic Energy Agency said Friday that Iran had enriched uranium and was in defiance of the U.N. Security Council.
In response, Western nations promised Friday to introduce a new Security Council resolution next week.
The finding that Iran was not in compliance, which was expected, was contained in a report drawn up by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.
The eight-page report said that, after more than three years of an IAEA investigation, "the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern."
"Any progress in that regard requires full transparency and active cooperation by Iran," it added.
The report said Iran’s claim to have enriched small amounts to a level of 3.6 percent — fuel-grade uranium as opposed to weapons-grade enriched to levels above 90 percent — appeared to be true, according to initial IAEA analysis of samples it took.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said no Security Council resolution could make Iran give up its nuclear program.
"The Iranian nation won’t give a damn about such useless resolutions," Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in Khorramdareh in northwestern Iran. [via MSNBC.com]