Iran: Nuclear talks are 'on track'Iran's foreign minister said Monday that talks between top Iranian and European negotiators on his country's disputed nuclear program are "on track" and he believes a negotiated solution to the standoff is possible. [via MSNBC.com]
Central Asia: Towards a Nuclear-Free World
Leaders from five Central Asia States %u2013 Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan %u2013 met this month to sign a treaty creating a nuclear-weapon-free-zone (NWFZ) in the region. The treaty was signed 8 September in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan %u2013 one of the former Soviet nuclear-weapon test sites that was closed in 1996. Mr. Yuri Sokolov, IAEA Deputy Director General, represented the IAEA as an observer at the signing ceremony. [via IAEA
Iran Proposes Negotiations on Nuclear Stand-Off - washingtonpost.comIran has proposed extensive negotiations with major world powers to resolve the stand-off over its nuclear program, but it is threatening to cut off talks and other cooperation if the case against it proceeds in the U.N. Security Council, as advocated by the United States.In a detailed and sometimes rambling response given three weeks ago in reply to a set of proposals made by the members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany last June, Iran stops short of rejecting demands to halt its nuclear enrichment program, saying the issue can be resolved in negotiations. The response was made public on a Web site Tuesday. [via washingtonpost.com]
For some analysis, visit armscontrolwonk.com
U.S. Unprepared for Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism, Report SaysTo evaluate U.S. readiness, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) created casualty maps for three plausible nuclear terrorism scenarios – a nuclear weapons blast in lower Manhattan, an attack on a nuclear power plant near Chicago, and detonation of a dirty bomb near the White House – and evaluated the medical and public health consequences. The authors then examined steps that should be taken to try to minimize deaths and injuries. The full report can be found here (6MB PDF).
Iran-EU Talks Scheduled for SaturdayEuropean Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani have rescheduled for Saturday a meeting to discuss the potential for negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program, the Associated Press reported today.
EU-Iran Nuclear Talks PostponedA senior Iranian official said today that "a procedural matter" has led to the postponement of crucial nuclear negotiations with the European Union, the Associated Press reported.
"We will not have the meeting today in Vienna," Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told AP. "Both sides are arranging for a couple of days later." [via NTI: Global Security Newswire]
China Test-Launches New Ballistic MissileChina has test launched a DF-31 long-range ballistic missile, according to a report by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. The missile was said to have been launched from the Wuzhai launch site on Monday night.
The DF-31 has been under development since the 1980s and Monday’s flight test appears to be the sixth flight test of the missile since 1999. The U.S. Department of Defense predicted in 2002 that the DF-31 would be deployed “before mid-decade,” but that didn’t happen. The current DOD prediction is that deployment may happen this year. Some web sites erroneously say the missile is already operational.
There is considerable confusion and uncertain about the capability of the DF-31. Early reports predicted a range of at least 8,000 km (4,875 miles), but the latest DOD estimate is 7,250+ km (4,500+ miles). China has not yet tested the DF-31 to the full range reported by the DOD. Tuesday’s test launch impacted in the Takla Makan Desert some 2,500 km west of Wuzhai. If the range is 7,250+, the DF-31 will not be able to target the entire continental United States, only the most northwestern parts. Its main role may be against Russia, India, as well as U.S. facilities in the Pacific including Hawaii and Guam.
The DF-31 forms the core of China’s current modernization of long-range nuclear ballistic missiles. Two modifications of the DF-31 are under development. The road-mobile DF-31A has a longer range (possibly up to 12,000 km), and the 8,000+ km range Julang-2 is intended to arm China’s next generation of ballistic missile submarines (Jin-class). Despite widespread speculation among private analysts and media that the new missiles will carry multiple warheads, the U.S. intelligence community anticipates that all three missile types will carry a single warhead each. [via Federation of American Scientists]
Site UpdatesFrequent visitors might have noticed a few changes over the past few days. We decided to give the site a little touch up. Most noticeably is the pages are now centered instead of left justified. This should make the site a bit more attractive for those viewing the site on larger monitors. We are still tweaking this, so stay tuned.
We also have adjusted the font sizing for the text. The goal here was to allow Internet Explorer users the ability to resize the text on the page for better viewing if they needed to. There is an issue if you use points instead of percents with that web browser. We tried to match it as best as possible.
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The deadline has passedI am sure you have all heard that the deadline for Iran to halt its uranium enrichment has passed.
On August 31, 2006, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei released his report Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The report was prepared at the request of the United Nation's Security Council and a copy was obtained by the Institute for Science and International Security .
This report confirmed that while the Islamic Republic was continuing to enrich uranium - a process that can generate both nuclear fuel and weapons-grade material - it was still making only halting progress. [via MSNBC.com]