By Lowana Veal
REYKJAVIK (IDN) – In February 2016, the U.S. government started discussions with its Icelandic counterpart on the possibility of carrying out necessary changes to the doors of the NATO hangar at Keflavik airport so that newer, larger submarine reconnaissance planes could be housed there. The matter was eventually concluded in December 2017, when the U.S. government agreed to funding.
The hangar is located in the security zone of the old U.S. military base, “Naval Air Station Keflavik”, and the reconnaissance planes in question are of the Poseidon P-8A type, designed to track the increased presence of Russian nuclear and conventional submarines in waters around Iceland – the so-called Greenland, Iceland and United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap. [P 30]
By J C Suresh
TORONTO (IDN) – One day after the European Union reiterated its commitment to support "the full and effective implementation of the agreement" with Iran, the Trump Administration announced on January 12 that it will continue to waive sanctions on the Islamic Republic in accordance with U.S. commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.
The agreement between the P5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Iran is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
By Daryl G. Kimball
Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared with the caption 'Trump’s More Dangerous Nuclear Posture'.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – Just one year ago, Vice President Joe Biden delivered an address touting the progress achieved during the Obama years to reduce the salience and number of nuclear weapons and curb their spread.
Biden argued that “given our non-nuclear capabilities and the nature of today’s threats, it’s hard to envision a plausible scenario in which the first use of nuclear weapons by the United States would be necessary. Or make sense. President Obama and I are confident we can deter and defend ourselves and our allies against non-nuclear threats through other means.”
By Ramesh Jaura
The following article is based on an interview with Hirotsugu Terasaki, the Director General of Peace and Global Issues of the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI), in Tokyo, Japan. SGI was the sole Buddhist organization that participated in the Vatican Conference on nuclear disarmament on November 10-11, 2017.
BERLIN | ROME (IDN) – There was an air of surprise when religious leaders and representatives of civil society, officials of State and international organizations, eminent academics, Nobel Laureates, and students, gathered in the Vatican City against the backdrop of an escalating face-off between the U.S. and North Korea.
Surprise because for the first time the Vatican's newly created Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was hosting a Conference on the 'Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament'.
By J C Suresh
TORONTO | WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – Cofounder of the organization Global Zero, and a former Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile launch officer has called for major changes to prevent a U.S. President from ordering the use of nuclear weapons.
In a new article published in the forthcoming issue of Arms Control Today, Bruce Blair, who is also a member of the Princeton University research faculty, provides an authoritative summary of current U.S. nuclear launch protocol and its dangerous liabilities. The article includes new information about the process, including who is involved and how a nuclear use order would be executed.
By J Nastranis
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has issued "a red alert for our world" in his message on the occasion of 2018 New Year. It's probably the first time ever a UN Chief has done so.
He does not explicitly refer to the nuclear muscle-flexing between the United States and North Korea, but warns: "Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War."
By Bernhard Schell
AMMAN (IDN) – The Israeli media ignored the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in honour of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on December 10, 2017 in Oslo. The Israeli Ambassador to Norway however attended the event.
The silence of the Israeli media, according to observers, was not surprising though ICAN's eminent partner in the Middle East, the Israeli Disarmament Movement (IDM), founded and chaired by Sharon Dolev, has influenced the Israeli public discourse for the past six years. [P 29]
By J Nastranis
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres desires to make 2018 "a pivotal year" for the achievement of sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In a statement attributable to his spokesperson, following the adoption of a new Security Council resolution (UNSCR 2397), he said: "The only way forward for a comprehensive peaceful and political solution requires de-escalation and open communication channels, now."
The resolution was approved on December 22 in response to the latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), widely known as North Korea, on November 28. [P 28]
By Alice Slater*
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – In Oslo on December 10, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and was accepted on behalf of the Campaign by its executive director, Beatrice Fihn, and by Setsuko Thurlow, an ICAN campaigner and survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing.
Both spoke for the thousands of campaigners in over 400 organizations and more than 100 countries around the world who succeeded this fall in working with friendly governments to move a majority of states at the United Nations to adopt a treaty to prohibit to ban nuclear weapons, making their possession, use, or threat of use unlawful.