Experts Stress Effectiveness of Iran Deal

Experts emphasize need for Iran Deal - “Alarmed that President Trump may soon take steps that could unravel the international nuclear agreement with Iran, more than 80 disarmament experts urged him on Wednesday to reconsider and said the accord was working. In a joint statement, the experts said the 2015 agreement, negotiated by the Obama administration and the governments of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, was a ‘net plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts,’” writes Rick Gladstone for The New York Times.

--“Kelsey Davenport, the director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association, expressed worry that if the administration abandoned the Iran agreement, any possibility of inducing North Korea to negotiate would be lost. ‘Given that we are already struggling to contain the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis, it would be extremely unwise for the president to initiate steps that could unravel the highly successful 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which would create a second major nonproliferation crisis,’ she said.” Full article here.

See also - “What to expect if Trump undoes the Iran nuclear deal” by Seyed Hossein Mousavian for Los Angeles Times here.

Tweet - @Diplomacy_Works: Great interview w/ @ErnestMoniz on the #IranDeal: If the U.S. walks away from the JCPOA, that would leave us in “the worst of both worlds.”

Trump weighs sanctions waivers - “President Trump must decide by Thursday whether to once again waive economic sanctions on Iran, a task imposed on him by a deal he holds in contempt and appears to be preparing to ditch,” writes Carol Mortello for The Washington Post. “Even if Trump waives sanctions, as he must by law reassess every 120 days, it comes as Iran and the agreement it negotiated with six world powers are coming under increasing attack. In a series of public critiques of the deal and Iran’s behavior, administration officials appear to be laying the groundwork to kill the existing agreement, possibly by finding a way to reopen it for modifications.”

--“Wendy Sherman, the chief U.S. negotiator in the talks, said leaving the agreement would drive a wedge between the United States and European allies who were its partners in negotiations. ‘Either directly or indirectly, ripping up this deal by the United States is the worst thing we could do for American national security,’ she said, adding, ‘North Korea is watching closely.’” For the full article, click here.

Tweet - @ColinKahl: Administration set to extend Iran sanctions relief, but tee'ing up options for Trump to decertify nuke deal in Oct.

Take action - Sick of hearing from the same set of voices in the same boring tone? You’re in luck – Inkstick Media launches this week. It's time we change the way we talk about national security. It's past time we change who we talk about it with. Inkstick is an independent website with short, to-the-point interviews, articles and essays on foreign policy and national security - check it out here today.

Tillerson turns to European allies - “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is consulting U.S. allies in Europe as he seeks a way to toughen restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program a month before President Donald Trump faces a deadline to decide whether to walk away from what he’s called ‘the worst deal ever.’ U.S. diplomats have approached European officials to see if they would join in demanding an extension to limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment that are set to expire in 2025 and 2030 under the nuclear accord reached in 2015, according to people familiar with the discussions,” writes Nick Wadhams for Bloomberg Politics.

--“Now, Tillerson is evaluating whether European allies -- to say nothing of China, Russia and Iran -- can be talked into expanding upon their deal, which took months of negotiations to complete during President Barack Obama’s administration. With a broader Iran policy review under way in the administration, the consensus among Tillerson and other officials is to view the nuclear deal as one part of a broader strategy to counter Iran’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East, including its program to develop ballistic missiles, its sponsorship of terrorist groups and its support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.” Full article here.

See also - “May stressed importance of Iran nuclear deal to Tillerson - spokesman” by William James for Reuters here.

Senators fight proposed INF Treaty violation - Sen. Elizabeth Warren is introducing legislation aimed at preventing the development of a new intermediate-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Warren said Tuesday any push to research the weapon should be delayed until after the Department of Defense says the weapon is needed. The Massachusetts Democrat introduced the bill with Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee,” writes the Associated Press.

--“The two called the missile ‘uniquely destabilizing’ and noted that as signatories of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, both the United States and Russia are barred from deploying the weapon. They said while Russia has violated the treaty by deploying a limited number of noncompliant missiles, the U.S. shouldn't follow suit until military leaders study if new weapons are needed. Warren said the country can't risk ‘a new round of nuclear escalation.’” For the full article, click here.

See also - “Save the INF Treaty - but not by repeating history” by Thomas Graham Jr. and Bernadette Stadler for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists here.

The least bad North Korea strategy - “Conflict management is not the most ideal scenario for U.S. policymakers, but it may be the only prudent choice we have left,” writes Dan DePetris for Reuters. “The only way for the U.S. to improve its North Korea policy is by acknowledging that Pyongyang will be nuclear-capable for many years to come and is highly unlikely to eliminate its nuclear weapons program regardless of what Washington offers. This isn’t about what Kim Jong Un wants, but rather what is most likely to serve U.S. national security.”

--“While openly recognizing North Korea as a nuclear power would cause tremors throughout Asia, Trump ought to do it anyway. As soon as he does, the U.S. can re-focus attention from a denuclearization objective that is increasingly impossible to imagine toward an old-fashioned strategy of deterrence and containment… As former State Department official Richard Sokolsky told me in an email: ‘If we could deter the likes of Stalin and Mao, we can do the same with Kim.’” For the full article, click here.

See also - “U.N. Levels Sanctions On North Korea” featuring George Lopez, by Steve Bynum and Jerome McDonnell for WBEZ 91.5 Chicago here.

Nuclear-free South Korea - “South Korean President Moon Jae-in has dismissed the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons in his country, warning it could ‘lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia,’” write Paula Hancock and James Griffiths for CNN. “‘I do not agree that South Korea needs to develop our own nuclear weapons or relocate tactical nuclear weapons in the face of North Korea's nuclear threat,’ [President Moon said]. ‘To respond to North Korea by having our own nuclear weapons will not maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula and could lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia.’” Full article here.

Tweet - @EricGomezAsia: The longer the US waits to talk w/ North Korea, the worse our options look @CatoFP @PhillyInquirer

Quick Hits

--“Here’s every nuclear weapon in the US arsenal” by the Union of Concerned Scientists here.

--“Richard North Patterson: Trump’s misconceived Iran policy” by Richard North Patterson for The Boston Globe here.

--“U.S. Missile Defense: Not as Effective As We Think” by Scott Ritter for The American Conservative here.

--“Senate votes down Paul's bid to revoke war authorizations” by Jordain Carney for The Hill here.

--“YouTube has shut down more North Korean channels — and researchers are livid” by Anna Fifield for The Washington Post here.

--“North Korea threatens to sink Japan’s four main islands into the sea with a nuclear bomb” for The Japan Times here.

--“State Department official quietly visits Moscow to discuss North Korea” by Josh Rogin for The Washington Post here.

--“South Korea Plans ‘Decapitation Unit’ to Try to Scare North’s Leaders” by Choe Sand-Hun for The New York Times here.

--“Now Is The Time To Ban Nuclear Weapons” by Vicki Andrews for the Grand Rapids Herald Review here.


--“Losing an Enemy -- Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy.” Hosted by the University of Maryland Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland and cosponsored by the UMD Roshan Institute for Persian Studies. Featuring Trita Parsi. Thursday, September 14, 2017. 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, 1203 Van Munching Hall College Park, MD 20742. Details here.

--“Weighing Bad Options: Past Diplomacy with North Korea and Alliance Options Today” Hosted by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, moderated by Jim Schoff. Featuring Christopher Hill, Mitoji Yabunaka, Keiji Nakatsuji and Douglas H. Paal. Monday, September 18, 2017. 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Details here.

--“How Europe and Iran’s Neighbors View the Nuclear Deal Future.” Hosted by Atlantic Council, moderated by Barbara Slavin. Featuring David O’Sullivan, Sir Kim Darroch, Hussein Ibish, and more. Monday, September 25, 2017. 12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005. Details here.

--“Debate: Future of the INF Treaty.” Hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, co-sponsored by Ploughshares Fund. Featuring Thomas Countryman, Alexandra Bell, Franklin C. Miller and Rebeccah Heinrichs. Wednesday, September 27, 2017. 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. CSIS Headquarters, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Details here.

--“Consequences of a Collapse of the Iran Nuclear Deal” Hosted by the Center for a New American Security. Two panels will discuss ramifications of withdrawing from the Iran Deal. Panelists include: Richard Nephew, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Ilan Goldenberg, Colin Kahl and more. Tuesday, October 3, 2017. 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Center for a New American Security, 1152 15th Street NW, Suite 950, Washington, D.C. 20005. Details and registration here.

--“How Do You Solve a Problem Like North Korea?” Hosted by CATO Institute. Speakers include: Joe Cirincione, Bill Richardson, Suzanne DiMaggio, Joshua Pollack, John Glaser and more. Monday, November 6, 2017. 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. Details and registration here.

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