Up Next for Iran: Embargo, Pressure, and Continued Talks
June 26, 2012 | Edited by Benjamin Loehrke and Leah Fae Cochran
Continue talks, not brinkmanship - The Moscow talks failed to produce a breakthrough between the P5+1 and Iran, in part because both sides were overly confident about their negotiating positions, writes Ali Vaez of Crisis Group.
--“Rather than more brinkmanship based on mismatched expectations and misguided convictions, both sides should embrace intensive, continuous, technical-level negotiations to achieve a limited agreement on Iran's 20 percent enrichment.” http://bit.ly/QbGR8v
Dealing with outliers - Iran and North Korea see international integration as a risk to regime security, which reduces the incentive for the two “outlier states” to come clean on their nuclear program. Washington, meanwhile, lacks viable options for regime change or compelling Iran and North Korea through threat of force.
--The best available option, argues Robert Litwak in The International Herald Tribune, is to remain open to diplomacy, continue sanctions, and seek limits on Iran and North Korea’s ability to acquire fissile material. ”This is, in effect, containment, and it is the only real option the president has,” writes Litwak. http://nyti.ms/MXo7oH
EU embargo - The EU confirmed that its full embargo on Iranian crude oil is set to enter into force on Sunday as planned. The threat of embargo was intended to help get Iran to the negotiating table. In its statement on the embargo, the EU said, “the objective of the EU remains to achieve a comprehensive, long-term settlement.” http://on.wsj.com/KZy3o2
Report - “U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Reductions: The Next Round” by James Doyle of LANL for the Federation of American Scientists’ “Public Interest Report.” http://bit.ly/MmO9XS
The pits - A recently obtained DOE report on plutonium pit production indicates that “there is no near-term requirement for the production of more [plutonium] pits of any kind]. The next planned production is for W87 pits, but according to the March 2012 quarterly pit production report they are not needed until the FY2019-FY2020 timeframe.”
--Stephen Young at All Things Nuclear goes into the recent history of pit production for W88 warheads and looks into the production goals of the proposed W78 Life Extension Program. http://bit.ly/MPyEpV
--Full report here: “Quarterly Pit Production Report,” Department of Energy Report to Congress, March 31, 2012. http://bit.ly/MV6g25
#Nukeratti - Foreign Policy has its top 100 foreign policy Twitterati. Jon @CNSWolfsthal is rounding up the top 100 #Nukeratti. Tweet him your recommendations.
Quips Wolfsthal: We will announce the top 100 #nukeratti this week. Free #Plutonium or #HEU to our winners, and a free #nuclearweapon for our top Nukeratti!
Quote: - "The Iranians, they do not understand this talk. Simply don't. They will not listen to it. It's against the whole culture of theirs." Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov referring to Western negotiators relying on ultimatums during Iran talks. AOL Defense has the full-interview.http://aol.it/MLOTVd
Change of heart - Walter Pincus highlights how Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-TN) criticism of the New START treaty implementation at the recent SFRC hearing seems to be helping score points in his upcoming primary race.
--”Zach Poskevich, Corker’s tea party electoral challenger, has criticized the senator’s vote for the treaty, saying it ‘extremely reduces the United States’ capability to defend ourselves.’ I expect some of Corker’s statements Thursday to show up in a political ad on Tennessee TV sometime before Aug. 2,” Pincus writes. “The treaty may not have helped make Corker’s Senate seat more secure, but it certainly has made the nation safer.” Read the full story here: http://wapo.st/KzDx2C
13 Days - It has been 50 years since the closest the world has ever come to ending. Graham Allison, the man who literally wrote the book on the Cuban-Missile Crisis, reflects on lessons learned in Foreign Affairs.http://fam.ag/MPtiv3
Blinky the 3-eyed fish - The first batch of seafood to be sold from Fukushima's coastline after the nuclear disaster hit markets Monday morning. However, only octopus and marine snails are currently cleared as safe. Fish are still too contaminated for sale. USA Today has the story. http://usat.ly/MLHoeQ
--Your humble editors tracked down a photo of fish from the Fukushima coastline, available here. http://bit.ly/KZDnYr
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