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Analysis and Comment (22)

Ukraine got rid of its nuclear weapons in 1994. Ukraine got rid of its nuclear weapons in 1994. EPA/Stringer

Ukraine nuclear security fears were exaggerated

As the curtain fell on the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, the Dutch organisers must surely have experienced mixed emotions: relief that the summit was a success, yet frustration that media attention was…
What’s worse than an enemy with a gun? An enemy with malicious code. What’s worse than an enemy with a gun? An enemy with malicious code. Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

South Korea’s cyber-war ambitions could backfire badly

South Korea has made a suprisingly public announcement that it plans to develop cyber-weapons for potential use against North Korea. The decision to make its plans known is baffling and the potential consequences…
If only people had heeded his words then. If only people had heeded his words then. Niels Bohr Archive

Open science to fight big threats like the nuclear bomb

In 1943, when Niels Bohr, one of 20th century’s greatest scientists, was briefed on the Anglo-American nuclear weapons project, he was worried about the political consequences more than the scientific…
All smiles in Geneva: but there are some unhappy people in the Middle East. All smiles in Geneva: but there are some unhappy people in the Middle East. Carolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

Iran’s nuclear weapons deal will rebalance the Middle East

Signed by the P5 + Germany and mediated by the EU’s foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, the deal achieved with Iran on the latter’s nuclear programme has important implications for regional…
Flying high: John Kerry and Baroness Ashton after signing the deal. Flying high: John Kerry and Baroness Ashton after signing the deal. Carolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

Obama must face down hawks and Israel over Iran deal

The nuclear deal reached between the United States and Iran represents both a breakthrough and a risk for Barack Obama. A breakthrough because it stalls Iran’s progress towards nuclear weapons capability…
How will we know Iran will keep its side of the deal? How will we know Iran will keep its side of the deal? Otto Schade/garryknight

Uranium, plutonium, heavy water … why Iran’s nuclear deal matters

You may have seen yesterday that Iran has agreed to scale back its nuclear program for six months after two years of economic sanctions in an effort to halt, or at least alter the course of, its nuclear…
Iran and western powers have reached a deal that will lead to a temporary nuclear detente in the Middle East state. But what does it all mean, and what is its chance of success? Iran and western powers have reached a deal that will lead to a temporary nuclear detente in the Middle East state. But what does it all mean, and what is its chance of success? EPA/Martial Trezzini

Why now? Understanding the Iranian nuclear breakthrough

Elation and relief were palpable as weary diplomats from Iran and the P5+1 states emerged from a Geneva conference room on Sunday with a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The six month Iranian uranium…
New best friends? Catherine Ashton and Iran’s Javad Zarif in September. New best friends? Catherine Ashton and Iran’s Javad Zarif in September. European External Action Service

Containment, not rollback, is the key to Iran’s nuclear future

To gauge just how important a successful outcome to the latest round of nuclear negotiations with Iran is to the West – and how far the thaw with new president Hassan Rouhani has progressed – you only…
Great Satan: Iran-US relations will have to overcome 30 years of emnity. Great Satan: Iran-US relations will have to overcome 30 years of emnity. Open Democracy

UN assembly could see thaw between Iran and ‘Great Satan’

After more than three decades of false starts and missed opportunities, something might be finally moving on the diplomatic front between Iran and the United States. The two relatively moderate administrations…
Some of us learned to stop worrying and love the bomb; some of us didn’t. Some of us learned to stop worrying and love the bomb; some of us didn’t. Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Nuclear futures: how 20th century atomic science played on our hopes and fears

Radioactivity is dramatic. You can’t smell it, taste it, or see it. You may be powerless to avoid it. Nuclear history is a story of dramatic contrasts, of hope and tragedy. Worldwide excitement over Marie…
Sorry captain, I thought the big red button made it go faster. Sorry captain, I thought the big red button made it go faster. PA/Andy Buchanan

Trident: time to rethink Britain’s nuclear future

The Coalition government is pressing ahead with a long, expensive and controversial programme to replace the Trident nuclear weapon system beginning with the procurement of a new fleet of submarines armed…
The fallout from North Korea’s nuclear test will reach beyond its neighbours to the south. The fallout from North Korea’s nuclear test will reach beyond its neighbours to the south. AAP/Yonhap

Upping the ante: North Korea’s third nuclear test

Overnight North Korea conducted its third nuclear weapons test. The test came in the wake of a successful long-range rocket launch in December and resulting condemnation from the United Nations Security…
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s reign remains legitimate. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s reign remains legitimate. KCNA

North Korea’s missile test a failure, but rogue state has nothing to fear

The technical aspects of North Korea’s failed rocket launch last week are less interesting than the political undercurrents swirling around this event. Yesterday, the UN announced increased sanctions for…
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses Iran “Nuclear Day” gathering. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses Iran “Nuclear Day” gathering. EPA/Press TV

An attack on Iran: the legal basis, or lack thereof

Talk of a possible Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities has re-ignited debate over the right of self-defence under international law. Some academics, including Anthony D'Amato and Alan Dershowitz…
It’s impossible to separate North Korea’s defensive ambitions from its leadership transition. It’s impossible to separate North Korea’s defensive ambitions from its leadership transition. EPA/KCNA South Korea

Learning from North Korea’s missile tests: deterrence, legitimacy and survival

In March, North Korea’s external propaganda mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency announced the impending launch of a satellite, the Kwangmyongsong-3, during a four-day launch window timed to correspond…
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the White House in early March, 2012. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the White House in early March, 2012. EPA/Martin H Simon

On Iran, Obama shows he loves Israel a little too much

A key facet of America’s extended, depressing election campaigns is that every serious presidential candidate has to prove their fanatical, unswerving devotion to the Israeli government. As part of this…
Iran is constructing nuclear power stations; that much is clear. Iran is constructing nuclear power stations; that much is clear. AAP

Could Iran be building nuclear weapons? A scientific perspective

There is much concern that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear weapons. Such a development, we’re told, could induce Israel to launch a unilateral military strike with all types of unpredictable…
The aftermath of a bombing in Tehran that killed a nuclear scientist. The aftermath of a bombing in Tehran that killed a nuclear scientist. EPA/STR

Are we stumbling towards war with Iran?

Relations between Iran and the United States and its ally Israel have descended into the worst crisis in years. Concern is growing that the situation could quickly degenerate into conflict. The origins…
A Pakistani missile launches during a 2008 test-firing. The country has a poor record on nuclear weapons. A Pakistani missile launches during a 2008 test-firing. The country has a poor record on nuclear weapons. AAP

Why Australia must not sell uranium to Pakistan

Predictably, Pakistan is seeking equal treatment with India on uranium sales from Australia. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Australia Abdul Malik Abdullah has argued that if Australia changes its policy…
You don’t need to take Iran’s nuclear facilities out by force. Just pass a virus onto them. You don’t need to take Iran’s nuclear facilities out by force. Just pass a virus onto them. EPA

How internet porn and investment scams could bring down Iran’s nuclear program

The latest round of chest beating over Iran developing nuclear weapons has seen renewed speculation over the possibility of military strikes on the Islamic Republic’s enrichment facilities. Certainly if…

Research and News (1)