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Iran: Cutting the Gordian Knots

Iran: Cutting the Gordian Knots

The good news in nuclear arms control this last week was of course China’s rather surprising decision to join in international sanctions against North Korea. The single most important thing about sanctions, almost always, is not their material effect but, rather, when the sanctions are universal,  the moral and political …

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North Korean Nuclear Test: What Is the Nature of the Threat?

North Korean Nuclear Test: What Is the Nature of the Threat?

 
From a global perspective, any new entry into the “nuclear club” is high undesirable as such: With every new entrant, there is an exponential increase in the political complexity of achieving total nuclear disarmament — or, to put it more simply, there is an additional obstacle in the way of …

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Nuclear Weapons Accomplishments in the Chu Years

Nuclear Weapons Accomplishments in the Chu Years

Departing Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s farewell letter is not the usual five paragraphs consisting of gradiose claims and bromides for the ages. At more than 3,750 words, it is the length …

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Our Third Most Urgent Nonproliferation Priority

Our Third Most Urgent Nonproliferation Priority


With the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and the transition from the first to second Obama term, it’s a time for pundits to compile to-do lists. For example, fellow blogger Jodi Lieberman recently circulated

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Japan’s Plutonium Problem

Japan’s Plutonium Problem

After Iran, arguably the most urgent problem in nuclear nonproliferation policy is Japan’s huge and growing stockpile of separated plutonium, its plans to start commercial reprocessing of spent nuclear fuels next year,* and the bad precedent that will set for South Korea, …

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Obama’s Second-Term Agenda

Obama’s Second-Term Agenda

In terms of establishing the conditions for a world without weapons of mass destruction (the main theme of this blog), we might as well say frankly that Obama’s first term left a good deal to be desired. Despite the clear commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons the Obama made …

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Iran Enrichment: Time for Diplomacy

Iran Enrichment: Time for Diplomacy


Greg Thielmann in a recent blogpost makes a trenchant observation regarding the latest IAEA report on Iran: That, despite the generally tough tone of the report,

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Nuclear Iran: Do I Need to Eat My Words?

Nuclear Iran: Do I Need to Eat My Words?


Yesterday, commenting on an op-ed piece by Bill Keller, I generally agreed with the Times‘s former executive editor regarding the …

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Can We Live with a Nuclear-Armed Iran?

Can We Live with a Nuclear-Armed Iran?

Bill Keller of the New York Times had a column in the Monday paper addressing the question of

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Iran: Let’s Avoid Partisan Warfare

Iran: Let’s Avoid Partisan Warfare


This week the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to release another status report on Iran’s nuclear program that is expected to raise new troubling concerns. It comes on the heels of the major report last fall in which

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Open a Second Diplomatic Front to Contain Iranian Nuclear Ambitions?

Open a Second Diplomatic Front to Contain Iranian Nuclear Ambitions?


In an editorial this week prompted by renewed saber-rattling by Israel’s leadership, The New York Times argues for giving Iran sanctions …

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Still Droning On

Still Droning On

Yesterday’s Review section of the Sunday New York Times carried an “analysis” piece by journalist Scott Shane, “The Moral Case for Drones,” which was really more in the nature of a news story reporting that a group of political scientists and moral philosophers believe there is in fact a …

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Publication of Second Bird Flu Paper

Publication of Second Bird Flu Paper

After prolonged controversy, Science magazine has published in its current issue the second of the bird flu papers detailing how a human-transmissible virus could spontaneously arise in nature. This one, …

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Has Israel Equipped Submarines with Nuclear Weapons?

Has Israel Equipped Submarines with Nuclear Weapons?

Following up on the controversial Guenther Grass poem discussed in a previous post, Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine published last week a very long article addressing the question of whether the six sophisticated submarines Germany supplied …

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Reflections on 30th Anniversary of June 12 Peace Rally

Reflections on 30th Anniversary of June 12 Peace Rally

How things have changed! Thirty years ago, on June 12, 1982, one million people gathered in New York City’s Central Park to rally in favor of nuclear disarmament and an end to the Cold War. As the largest peace demonstration in U.S. history, it was the culmination of a movement …

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About the Author

William Sweet
William Sweet

Bill Sweet has been writing about nuclear arms control and peace politics since interning at the IAEA in Vienna during summer 1974, right after India's test of a "peaceful nuclear device." As an editor and writer for Congressional Quarterly, Physics Today and IEEE Spectrum magazine he wrote about the freeze and European peace movements, space weaponry and Star Wars, Iraq, North Korea and Iran. His work has appeared in magazines like the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and The New Republic, as well as in The New York Times, the LA Times, Newsday and the Baltimore Sun. The author of two books--The Nuclear Age: Energy, Proliferation and the Arms Race, and Kicking the Carbon Habit: The Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energy--he recently published "Situating Putin," a group of essays about contemporary Russia, as an e-book. He teaches European history as an adjunct at CUNY's Borough of Manhattan Community College.

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