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Nuclear Weapons Blog

  • Dr. Helfand opinion piece published by CNN
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on December 9, 2009

    CNN has published a piece I wrote urging President Obama to use the Nobel Address to reaffirm his commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and to spell out why it is in America's national security interest to secure a nuclear weapons convention. Read more »

  • President Obama's Nobel Address on Thursday may be much more than an inspiring speech
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on December 7, 2009

    The Nobel Committee has invited me to attend the award ceremony and dinner in Oslo this week to represent the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and our US affiliate Physicians for Social Responsibility. This year marks the 24th anniversary of our receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for the work we did alerting the world to the medical consequences of nuclear war. Read more »

  • PSR Helps Reduce HEU Proliferation Risk
    Posted by Peter Wilk, MD on October 30, 2009

    Back in June, PSR joined an appeal from a broad and unprecedented coalition of nuclear medical and nonproliferation groups urging Congress to fund domestic production of medical isotopes without bomb-grade uranium, to ensure supply of the isotopes while reducing risks of nuclear terrorism. Read more »

  • Nobel Prize Rightfully Goes to Obama
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on October 9, 2009

    As Physicians for Social Responsibility did in 1985, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Prize for Peace today for his disarmament achievements. A bit of a shock to hear that he had received such recognition so early on, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Let’s negotiate like Russia with Iran
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Marina Voronova-Abrams, Global Green USA on October 5, 2009

    There is no public proof that Iran intends to build a bomb and no good reason to impose crippling sanctions. Such sanctions will only decrease the U.S.’s influence on Iran, while they increase Russia’s. Several U.S. media outlets and US Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) wrongly said that the September 25 public acknowledgement of Iran’s secret enrichment facility in Qum, capable of holding 3,000 centrifuges, is proof that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon. This is additional proof that Iran broke its international obligations, but these sources do not prove that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon. These facilities can be used to produce low enriched uranium for nuclear reactor fuel, or highly enriched uranium for the core of a nuclear weapon. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Who changed the U.S.’s Disarmament Resolution?
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on September 24, 2009

    A few days ago the U.S.’s draft UN Security Council Resolution on nonproliferation and disarmament was changed. This resolution was negotiated with all 15 Security Council members, and maybe a few others, to have assurance it would pass today. Just slight changes were made, since the September 18th draft, along with one rather significant addition. The addition likely indicates future key topics for negotiation at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010. Read more »

  • Obama Takes Steps Towards World Free of Nuclear Weapons
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on September 23, 2009

    In his debut appearance at the United Nations today, President Obama reminded the international community that he has already “outlined a comprehensive agenda to seek the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” Obama noted that this agenda was being implemented through U.S.-Russian nuclear disarmament negotiations, work towards a fissile material cut off treaty at the Conference on Disarmament and by sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as the first senior American representative, to the annual members conference of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Read more »

  • UN Disarmament Action in Mexico
    Posted on September 21, 2009

    Last week, I represented Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) at the 62nd Annual United Nations Conference for Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), “For Peace and Development: Disarm Now!” This is a critical time for disarmament efforts in a rare moment of political opportunity as we approach the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May 2010. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • August Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on August 28, 2009

    A new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report is out on Iran. Here is some new information about Iran’s enrichment capabilities, since the last June report: Read more »

  • Sanctions Hurt Iranians Who Need Help
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on August 6, 2009

    The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009, or 'the Berman Bill,' after the original sponsor in the House of Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), now has a place in the Senate (S.908) with support from 21 Senators. The Bill looks to push Iran into further isolation from the international community by cutting its oil and gas trade off. Isolating Iran will spur more illegal trade in Iran, increase the threat Iran perceives from the West and give the nation more of a reason to build a nuclear weapon as a security assurance. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Gibbs backs off on Iran Gaffe
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo and Laicie Olson on August 5, 2009

    August 4, to the shock of Iran experts, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said that President Obama recognized Iran’s contested election of President Ahmadinejad, but then retracted the statement. When asked point blank August 4 if the administration recognized Ahmadinejad as the legitimate President of Iran, Gibbs responded that “He [Ahmadinejad] is the elected leader.” Read more »

  • Congress to Hurt Iranian Reform Movement
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo and Laicie Olson on August 4, 2009

    With two Iran Amendments to the $679.8 billion National Defense Authorization Act and one to the $33.3 billion Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, Congress looks to grasp some oversight on U.S.-Iran policy. As Iran’s political stability after its June 2009 elections continues to deteriorate, these proposed actions could hurt the reformist movement that Congress would like to support. Congress should instead hold off on taking action until it is clear who will ultimately hold power in Iran for the long term. Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • “Watered Down” Kyl Amendment Passes
    Posted by Laicie Olson on July 31, 2009

    Late in the evening on July 23rd, the Senate passed a new, slightly weaker, version of Senator Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) Amendment (S.1760). Kyl-lite, you could say. The new amendment requires the President to report on the Administration’s plans to “enhance the safety, security, and reliability” of the United States nuclear weapons stockpile, modernize the nuclear weapons complex, and maintain nuclear weapons delivery systems. Read more »

  • France-Pakistan Nuclear Deal in Play
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on July 24, 2009

    Bad news today, France agreed to a nuclear deal with Pakistan. France is claiming that the deal will be limited to nuclear safety. They are also claiming that this is the beginning of a civil nuclear partnership, and more could come when French President Sarkozy visits Pakistan at the end of the year. Pakistan is home to Abdul Qadeer Khan, who after building Pakistan’s bomb sold secrets and nuclear bomb making technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Read more »

  • Current Happenings on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
    Posted by Edward Ifft, PhD on July 8, 2009

    June 10-12 over 500 delegates from about 80 countries gathered at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna for the International Scientific Studies Conference (ISS09). The participants were mainly scientists, many of them world-leaders in their fields, and their purpose was to examine the technologies relevant to the verification regime of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Moscow Summit: Reestablishing U.S. Leadership on Nuclear Nonproliferation
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on July 6, 2009

    Nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorism pose a grave threat to the United States and the world. At the Moscow Summit today Russian President Medvedev and President Barack Obama committed to a follow-on agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START) to be concluded by December, 2009. This new treaty will reduce U.S and Russian nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles, and will require verification of these reductions. Read more »

  • Japanese Ambassador to Direct IAEA
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on July 2, 2009

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finally agreed on a new director general, Japanese Ambassador Yukiya Amano. The IAEA is a crucial body in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime that ensures that non nuclear weapon states do not use nuclear energy technology for weapons. Read more »

  • New IAEA Director General Picked
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on July 2, 2009

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finally agreed on a new director general, Japanese Ambassador Yukiya Amano. The IAEA is a crucial body in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime that ensures that non nuclear weapon states do not use nuclear energy technology for weapons. Read more »

  • Getting to Zero: Lessons Learned from Chemical Weapon Regime
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on June 27, 2009

    A leading chemical weapon nonproliferation expert told a Washington crowd how lessons learned on the road to zero by the Chemical Weapon Convention regime could be applied to the nuclear nonproliferation regime. The Washington based Wilson Center hosted Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter June 16, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Read more »

  • Time to Get Serious About De-Alerting
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on June 24, 2009

    We need to increase the warning time of our nuclear weapons to give the President more decision making time. About one thousands U.S. nuclear weapons are on day-to-day alert, ready to launch in minutes notice. U.S. nuclear strategy still revolves around a Russian threat, but Russia hates the idea of de-alerting our nuclear weapons. Read more »

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