Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Looming Iran Assessment Worries Russia
Russia is worried that its recent proposal aimed at resolving the longstanding impasse over Iran's nuclear program could be derailed by an upcoming International Atomic Energy Agency report, Reuters reported (see GSN, Oct. 19).
The United States and allied nations suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear-weapon capability, while Tehran says its atomic sector has no military component. World powers and Iran have not held full talks on the matter since January.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in July proposed a "phased" process in which Iran would undertake a series of measures to reduce suspicions about its atomic intentions in return for reductions in sanctions targeting the Middle Eastern nation (see GSN, July 14).
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano in his next safeguards report on Iran appears likely to offer specifics regarding the organization's concerns that Tehran is pursuing nuclear-armed missiles. That assessment might not say outright that Iran's nuclear program has been intended to produce weapons, diplomats said.
"We think the IAEA has a lot of information that would allow the agency to come to clear findings on the issue of possible military dimensions," according to one Western source.
Diplomats in Vienna, Austria, where the U.N. nuclear watchdog is headquartered, said the final language in the report was subject to amendment prior to publication.
Two diplomatic sources said Moscow worries that an accusatory report would drive up tensions with Tehran, making it less likely that the Russian proposal could move forward. They added that the main concern in Russia might be the point at which the document arrives rather than what it specifically says.
The reported worries could point to diverging opinions on how to address the issue between the six nations that have been negotiating with Iran -- China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"I think it is unlikely that Russia and China will consent to a new round of crippling sanctions before negotiations are given another chance," said Ali Vaez of the Federation of American Scientists.
Diplomatic officials from Western countries have played down the Russian plan's potential for success, adding that Tehran has not offered a conclusive response to the proposal.
"The Russian proposal does not appear to fly. I can't see any movement on the nuclear issue," said a high-level envoy in Tehran (Fredrik Dahl, Reuters, Oct. 19).
Sept. 27, 2013
A fact sheet on current and projected costs of maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent, produced by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
July 18, 2013
The submarine proliferation resource collection is designed to highlight global trends in the sale and acquisition of diesel- and nuclear-powered submarines. It is structured on a country-by-country basis, with each country profile consisting of information on capabilities, imports and exports.
This article provides an overview of Iran's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.