EU Releases Statement on Iran
After having augmented the economic sanctions imposed on Iran, last week the EU released a joint statement calling for Iran to engage in “meaningful” negotiations and noted that as long as it continues to act irresponsibly, “the EU remains determined to increase, in close coordination with international partners, pressure on Iran.”
IAEA Calls for More Talks with Iran
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has emphasized the need for continued negotiations with Iran in light of the “intensive activities” at the Parchin military complex. “We have offered that we are willing to meet with them in the very near future,” Amano stated, reiterating his preference for “a high-level meeting and I hope we can have a meeting quite soon.”
White House, Iran Deny Reports of Bilateral Meetings
Late last week the New York Times reported that the U.S. and Iran had agreed “in principle” to hold one-on-one meetings after the U.S. presidential election in November. Both sides have denied an agreement, with Iran’s Foreign Minister stating, “The [nuclear] talks are ongoing with the P5+1 group of nations. Other than that, we have no discussions with the United States.” According to a White House spokesman, “It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections. We continue to work with the P5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally.”
Debate within SNP over Nuclear Weapons
Recently the Scottish National Party passed an amendment overruling the party’s traditional anti-NATO position. One SNP leader deemed the pro-NATO stance “a defence and security policy that is best for Scotland.” However, the SNP leadership seems to be divided over the issue of nuclear weapons. SNP leader Alex Salmond has continued to promote an anti-nuclear weapon position should Scotland become an independent nation. Currently, nuclear capable submarines are docked at Faslane Naval base.
Putin Oversees Russian Nuclear Drills
Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin personally oversaw a test of the command systems of the Russian nuclear triad. According to a statement by the Kremlin, the test was supervised “under the personal leadership of Vladimir Putin.” Lauding the apparent success of the test the statement concluded, “Vladimir Putin gave a high evaluation to the combat units and crews and the work of the Armed Forces General Staff.”
India to Purchase 200 Cruise Missiles
Following a successful test, the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security supported a plan to purchase 200 cruise missiles at a total cost of $1.5 billion. Some variants of the missile are nuclear-capable. Michael Krepon offers an interesting perspective on this topic, analyzing nuclear competition in Asia in a new article.
The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50
New Details about the Cuban Missile Crisis
In an interview with Time Magazine, scholar Bruce Allyn details how new evidence is reshaping traditional notions about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Specifically the revelations of the existence of tactical nuclear weapons on Cuba, Castro’s call for a nuclear-preemptive strike on the U.S., and a Russian submarine officer’s apparent intent to respond to American depth charges with a nuclear tipped torpedo have contributed to a fuller interpretation of the crisis.
Dispelling the “Eyeball to Eyeball” Myth
In a New York Times op-ed Michael Dobbs analyzes the myth that the U.S. and Soviet Union stood “eyeball to eyeball” on the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Specifically, Dobbs argues that the notion that it was through steely resilience that the U.S. forced the Soviets to blink “has become a touchstone of toughness by which presidents are measured.” In fact, according to Dobbs, not only does the eyeball to eyeball imagery misrepresent the nature of the crisis, but overlooks the impact that uncertainty and the fog of war had on the episode.
Rethinking America’s Nuclear Strategy
The fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the nation is reflecting on the potential for devastation wrought by nuclear weapons, is an ideal time to rethink America nuclear strategy argues Roger Blunt. As he writes, “Re-shaping our nuclear force is an issue of vision and conscience. We need the vision to recognize our world has changed, and we can’t allow pork-barrel spending and bureaucratic inertia to shape our national security priorities.”