Nuke negotiators aim to start crafting Iran deal in May
April 4th, 2014
08:17 PM ET

Nuke negotiators aim to start crafting Iran deal in May

By Laura Koran

Talks will resume next week on the future of Iran's nuclear program with the goal of beginning to draft a comprehensive agreement in May, a senior Obama administration official said on Friday.

The next round of negotiations will seek to build on the work that has been done since January, when an interim deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council took effect.

That deal eased some economic sanctions in return for Iran rolling back parts of its nuclear program, which the United States and others believe is designed to produce a weapon. Iran says its nuclear intentions are peaceful.

While officials in Washington are optimistic that negotiations are progressing on track, a number of significant potential roadblocks need to be worked through if a long-term agreement is to be reached.

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Filed under: Arms Control • Iran • Nuclear
October 15th, 2012
10:08 AM ET

A return to ground zero of the Cuban missile crisis

By Patrick Oppmann, reporting from Cuba

Fifty years ago, 15-year-old Omar Lopez knew a secret that governments around the world would have killed to learn or safeguard: Soviet troops were building hidden military installations in Cuba.

One of those installations was on the farm where his family raised chickens and pigs.

In 1962, Fidel Castro's revolution was just beginning to reshape Cuba. Thousands of Cubans had fled the country, and the year before, Castro's troops had routed a U.S.-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs.

But little of the drama of those times reached the remote Lopez farm in western Cuba, where palm trees vastly outnumber human residents.


Filed under: Arms Control • Cuba • Nuclear
September 16th, 2012
03:43 PM ET

Netanyahu urges U.S. to set 'red line' for Iran

By the CNN Wire Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the United States must establish a clear "red line" that Iran cannot cross with its nuclear program if it wants to avoid war.

"I think the issue is how to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program. They're moving very rapidly to completing the enrichment of the uranium that they need to produce a nuclear bomb. In six months or so, they will be 90% of the way there," Netanyahu said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"I think it's important to place a red line before Iran, and I think that actually reduces the chance of a military conflict because, if they know there's a point, a stage in the enrichment or other nuclear activities that they cannot cross because they'll face consequences, I think they'll actually not cross it," Netanyahu told CNN's Candy Crowley.

Concerns in Washington that Israel could launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities prompted a wave of visits this summer to Israel by several top Obama administration officials.


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Filed under: Arms Control • Iran • Israel • Nuclear
September 11th, 2012
05:19 PM ET

White House: Obama talks with Netanyahu on Iran, no meeting sought

By Barbara Starr

President Barack Obama talked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a call Tuesday night about the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program, according to a White House statement.

Obama placed the call to Netanyahu, a senior administration official told CNN.

The one-paragraph statement from the White House, which referred to the Obama-Netanyahu discussion as "a part of their ongoing consultations," followed reports earlier in the day that the White House had rejected a request by Netanyahu to meet with Obama this month to discuss Iran's nuclear program.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer, citing Israeli sources, reported that the Israelis were told Obama's schedule would not permit a meeting even though Israel offered to have Netanyahu travel to Washington.

Obama and Netanyahu are both due to address the United Nations in New York in late September but not at the same time.


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Filed under: Ahmadinejad • Arms Control • Iran • Israel • Military • Nuclear • Panetta • Pentagon
June 26th, 2012
04:36 AM ET

South Korea to suspend imports of Iranian oil after EU ban

By Paula Hancocks

South Korea said Tuesday that it will halt all Iranian oil imports from the start of July in response to a European Union insurance ban on tankers carrying crude from Iran.

The EU and United States have been widening sanctions against Iran recently to put pressure on Tehran to curtail its nuclear program.

Western powers say they believe the program is intended to build nuclear weapons, but Iran insists it is for peaceful purposes.

South Korea is the first major consumer of Iranian oil in Asia to suspend all imports. Iran's other big oil customers in the region are Japan, China and India - none of which have announced plans to stop receiving shipments.

Read the full story here.

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Filed under: Arms Control • Iran • Nuclear • Sanctions • South Korea
North Korea planning new nuclear test, South Korean intelligence report says
April 9th, 2012
06:26 AM ET

North Korea planning new nuclear test, South Korean intelligence report says

By Paula Hancocks and Jethro Mullen

North Korea is planning a new nuclear test in the area where it staged previous atomic blasts, according to a report from South Korean intelligence officials obtained by CNN.

The intelligence report has come to light as North Korea gets ready to carry out a controversial rocket launch this week, a move that would further strain ties between the reclusive, nuclear-armed state and other countries in the region. The planned rocket launch is scheduled to take place just months after the ascendancy of its new leader.


Iran announces date for nuclear talks but not venue
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspects centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site
March 28th, 2012
06:04 AM ET

Iran announces date for nuclear talks but not venue

Stalled talks between Iran and world leaders over its nuclear ambitions will resume April 13 at a yet-undetermined venue, the country's state-run media reported Wednesday.

The announcement, by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, comes amid growing pressure from world powers over Iran's controversial nuclear program.

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Filed under: Arms Control • Iran • Nuclear
Analysis: North Korea deal promising, but questions persist
March 1st, 2012
03:18 AM ET

Analysis: North Korea deal promising, but questions persist

By Elise Labott

Never a regime to do something for nothing, North Korea took what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a "modest first step" in agreeing to halt its nuclear and missile program in exchange for food aid.

But Clinton knows full well that 20 years of broken promises by North Korea to successive American administrations, both Democrat and Republican, give good reason to pause before celebrating.

The deal though is a promising sign, a first step that is conciliatory rather than belligerent, as North Korea agreed to stop nuclear activity at its main facility in Yongbyon and impose a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launched in exchange for 240,000 tons of food assistance.

It also promised to allow international inspectors into nuclear sites that have gone unexamined for close to five years.


Filed under: Arms Control • Hillary Clinton • IAEA • Kim Jong Il • Kim Jong-un • North Korea • Nuclear • Secretary of State
A difference of opinion on Iran threat
March 1st, 2012
03:10 AM ET

A difference of opinion on Iran threat

By Kevin Flower reporting from Jerusalem

As national security teams in Washington and Jerusalem busily prepare for the meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the pages of newspapers in Israel and the U.S. are full of analysis, reporting and predictions about what exactly the two will discuss.

Iran and its nuclear program, of course, are expected to top the agenda. All eyes will be on the post-meeting statement that the two leaders are expected to issue as well as the respective speeches each will deliver before the annual Washington gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group better known as AIPAC.

Israel and the United States believe Iran is working to develop a nuclear weapon program while the government in Tehran maintains its program is peaceful.


Filed under: Arms Control • Iran • Israel • Middle East • Nuclear • Obama
IAEA: Iran increases nuclear program
A satellite image of Natanz from December 14, 2011 (credit: GeoEye)
February 24th, 2012
01:52 PM ET

IAEA: Iran increases nuclear program

By Adam Levine, with reporting from Matthew Chance

Iran has stepped up its enrichment of uranium in the months since international inspectors last visited, according to a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The report was sent to member nations on Friday and posted online by the Institute for Science and International Studies. The new IAEA report cites an increase in centrifuges used to enrich uranium, at the Fordow and Natanz sites, at both lower levels and to 20%, a key level of achievement if Iran decides to create nuclear weapons.

Iran has failed to cooperate with efforts to verify that its nuclear program is purely peaceful, Director General Yukiya Amano concluded in the report.


Filed under: Arms Control • IAEA • Iran • Nuclear
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