Posted: 8th April 2021
Please find today’s press round up below. Thank you to all for their continued help and support.
Both sides say progress has been made in the talks at Vienna, though Iranian officials point to real obstacles. UK press speculation exists about Russian weapons development.
Iran Nuclear Talks
Both U.S. and Iranian officials have made positive noises regarding the new indirect talks in Vienna, with the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister telling a television interview that negotiations were ‘on the right track’. The Washington Post reports too that the U.S. State Department has described the talks as ‘a healthy step forward’. Both sides seem to be emphatic that any process to restoration of the deal would be prolonged and complicated. There is speculation that the delays so far on the U.S. reflect a desire by the Biden administration to concentrate political capital on domestic priorities. Some on the left of the Democratic Party are said to be dissatisfied however with what they perceive to be the tardy U.S. progress in restoring the 2015 deal.
In related news, the Russian TASS agency reports that the Iranian government has forcefully rejected the idea that sanctions (and sanctions relief) might be split into a JCPoA-related group and a non-nuclear deal related group. Israel and Saudi are keen to see Iran’s regional policy made part of the conditions for the removal of U.S. sanctions on the country. Iranian sources also pointed to the need for verification time for any sanctions relief measures.
Russian Nuclear Weapons Development
The Daily Mail features a sensationalist piece about what it says is confirmation that Russia is developing an undetectable nuclear-armed torpedo capable of travelling thousands of miles. The paper speculates that the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, which is in the early stages of development, could ‘set off a chain of deadly radioactive tsunamis that would smash into towns and cities’. The full piece can be found here.
‘No First Use’ Policy
Carlo Trezza, former chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime, has an article on the website of the European Leadership Network examining the ‘No First Use’ nuclear posture in light of the Biden administration’s forthcoming nuclear posture review. Trezza argues that U.S. adoption of the ‘No First Use’ doctrine would give momentum to disarmament and arms control efforts ahead of the NPT Review Conference in August. CND activists may find his conclusion, that ‘if all nuclear weapons states agreed not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, then in principle no nuclear war could break out’ to be overly optimistic however.
Israel confirms it attacked an Iranian ship whilst the crisis in Ukraine escalates, as local political leadership tries to engage NATO.
Israel has told the U.S. that it was responsible for an attack on an Iranian ship in the Red Sea on Tuesday, according to the Jerusalem Post. While Israel claims the ship is affiliated to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Iran says the ship is a merchant one. The explosion on the Saviz, believed to be caused by limpet mines, produced no casualties and minor damage.
Ukrainian Effort To Join NATO
Dan Sabbagh in the Guardian reports that the Ukrainian President Zelensky spoke to the Secretary-General of NATO on Tuesday night and advocated for Ukrainian ascension to the body to be made urgent. Kiev has engaged in a renewed round of diplomacy, with Zelensky speaking to Boris Johnson and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in an attempt to bolster the case for expedited Ukrainian membership. This follows on from reports that Russian troops are massed on the countries’ shared borders in the largest numbers since the crisis in Eastern Ukraine started in 2014.
The specialist Professional Security website carries a report on the Civil Nuclear Constabulary’s arrangements to defend the Sizewell complex from criminal and terrorist activity. Sizewell is the last nuclear plant the Project Servator operational patrol deployment model and its accompanying armed police officers has been rolled out to.
With best wishes,
Press and Communications Officer
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament