Cuba became the 54th national government to accede to the U.N.’s Nuclear Terrorism Convention on June 17, in a move meant to burnish the island nation’s counterterrorist credentials, which have been contested by the United States and other foreign governments. In depositing Havana’s instrument of accession to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, as the convention is formally known, the Cuban mission to the U.N. issued a statement affirming the Cuban government’s “irrevocable commitment to the fight against terrorism under in all its forms and manifestations.” The Cuban government also exploited the occasion to contest […]

In his April 5 disarmament speech in Prague, President Barack Obama endorsed constructing “a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation, including an international fuel bank, so that countries can access peaceful power without increasing the risks of proliferation.” An international uranium fuel bank seeks to address one of the fundamental problems with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) — namely, that it allows countries to acquire sensitive nuclear technologies that they can then rapidly convert from civilian to military use. According to the most common interpretation of the treaty, states can develop extensive uranium-enrichment and plutonium-reprocessing capabilities while a member in […]

President Barack Obama came into office ready to talk, and on many fronts he has already made good on his promise. He has directly addressed the Iranian people and opened channels to the government in Tehran. His address last week to the wider Muslim world was widely hailed as a success. And he exchanged a smiling handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Ch├ívez in April. Yet, apparently some situations demand a harder line. At the moment, one such situation is a North Korea poised to go nuclear. The item has thrust itself to the top of the president’s already overflowing agenda. […]

Much remains uncertain regarding the nuclear arms control treaty currently being negotiated by the Russian and American governments. But the parties have evidently decided not to try to address “non-strategic” nuclear weapons in the agreement. When asked about the issue at an April 6 conference on nonproliferation, two U.S. and Russian officials intimately involved in the negotiations said they favored excluding the issue from the immediate START follow-on talks. The latest Russian-American negotiating session that occurred last week in Geneva appears to confirm this decision. Rose Gottemoeller, the new assistant secretary of state for verification and compliance and the chief […]

Following years of frustrating carrot-and-stick diplomacy, the debate over how to solve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program is nearing its end. Neither coercive diplomacy, whether direct or indirect, nor deterrent threats of military attack are likely to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. To the contrary, a world in which Iran is a nuclear power is becoming a growing likelihood, one that by pessimistic forecasts may be upon us by 2012-2013. President Barack Obama’s efforts to engage Iran’s leadership suggest optimism about the possibility of altering Tehran’s behavior peacefully before it crosses the nuclear threshhold. As noted in […]

South Korea’s entry last week into the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in response to a North Korean nuclear weapon test represented a long-sought objective of PSI proponents. For years, the Republic of Korea (ROK) government had delayed joining the program due to fears about how North Korea might respond. It took Pyongyang’s May 25 test detonation of a nuclear device to prompt the South Korean government to commit to membership. The PSI is a voluntary coalition of national governments that agree to collaborate against the illicit transfer of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their means of delivery (which in […]