Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy

Non-proliferation and nuclear policy have always been core to IISS research. Chemical and biological weapons, ballistic missiles and radiological terrorism are also covered by this respected programme.

Expert: Mark Fitzpatrick

Director, Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme

New report

Improving the security of all nuclear materials

About four-fifths of the weapons-usable nuclear materials in the world are in non-civilian programmes, but global efforts to enhance the security of nuclear materials have been almost exclusively concentrated on the civilian sector. Following troubling security breaches, this report aims to advance international oversight of the security of non-civilian nuclear materials.

  • Reports

    Missile-defence cooperation in the Gulf

    25 October 2016. 

    This report looks at Iran's missile capabilities, the efforts to counter the threat they pose by Gulf Arab states and the broader evolution of security structures in the region. It is a valuable resource for all those seeking to understand the 'security complex' that encompasses all states in the Gulf.

  • Events

    The legacy of President Obama's nuclear security and non-proliferation agenda

    12 October 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Lieutenant General (Retd) Frank G. Klotz, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, US Department of Energy
    Arundel House, London
    Wednesday 12 October 2016, 12.30–1.30PM BST

  • Strategic Comments

    North Korea’s fifth nuclear test

    05 October 2016. 

    North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test on 9 September, and is moving towards mounting a nuclear bomb on ballistic missiles of increasing range. The Obama administration's policy of strategic patience may now be insufficient. Pyongyang is unlikely to restrain its nuclear bomb and ballistic missile development in the absence of greater US and Chinese assertiveness and more creative strategies.

  • Strategic Comments

    A Nuclear Ban Treaty: prospects and issues

    28 September 2016. 

    The United Nations General Assembly is expected soon to authorise the negotiation of a treaty that would make nuclear weapons illegal. Despite little media attention, prospects for an actual agreement look better this time. Countries possessing nuclear weapons have resisted the idea and would continue to do so. But with nuclear arms control on other fronts stalled, the negotiation of a Ban Treaty may be the only game in town for some time.

  • Expert Commentary

    38 North: North Korea–Iran Missile Cooperation

    26 September 2016.  Are Pyongyang and Tehran collaborating on ballistic-missile development? Michael Elleman, IISS Consulting Senior Fellow for Missile Defence, looks at the science behind recent speculation, offering a detailed analysis of the missile designs employed by each country to ascertain whether such collaboration is indeed taking place.

  • IISS Voices

    Mark Fitzpatrick: ‘All’ means all when it comes to security of nuclear materials

    21 September 2016.  All sensitive nuclear materials must be protected to the highest standards, irrespective of origin or purpose, argues Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, IISS–Americas, and co-author of a new report on this subject. Efforts to regulate the security of nuclear materials currently focus on the small proportion that are in the civilian sector, whereas the vast bulk are in fact in the non-civilian sector. The report demonstrates why strengthening the security of...

  • IISS Voices

    Matthew Cottee: North Korea’s fifth nuclear test: time to take its nuclear status seriously?

    09 September 2016.  Even though North Korea’s latest nuclear test was widely forecast to happen, there is no clear indication of what the international response will, or could, comprise. As Matthew Cottee explains, the US has promised ‘serious consequences’ and South Korean President Park Geun-hye has referred to Kim Jong-un’s ‘maniacal recklessness’ as a step towards self-destruction, but there are few indications of how these condemnations will translate into substantive policy.

  • Expert Commentary

    ISNA: Mark Fitzpatrick – Next US president won't be able to waive the JCPOA

    22 August 2016.  An interview with Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme; Executive Director, IISS–Americas TEHRAN (ISNA) – Former Deputy to US Secretary of State Mark Fitzpatrick said that because JCPOA is an eight-party deal, next US president will not waive it. Q: In your opinion, does JCPOA made any changes in Iran's role and power in the region? If so, is it tactical or strategic? A: Being limited to the nuclear matters, the...

  • Expert Commentary

    Tehran Times: Fitzpatrick – JCPOA has been a success so far

    31 July 2016.  An interview with Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme; Executive Director, IISS–Americas Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the non-proliferation program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), says the nuclear deal between Iran and great powers, officially called the JCPOA, has been a "success" so far as the sides have respected their obligations. However Fitzpatrick defends the report by the UN secretary general about the Resolution 2231 which endorsed the...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: The security risks of nuclear weapons in Turkey outweigh the benefits

    29 July 2016.  Of the five NATO allies that still host United States nuclear weapons, I used to think that Turkey would be the last to see them removed. Unlike in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and (less so) Italy, there has been very little domestic opposition to the nuclear weapons in Turkey. In the aftermath of the 15 July failed coup, I now expect they will be the first to go. There have been sound...

Survival Seminar

Nuclear Weapons and the Scottish Independence Debate

A nuclear-weapon system designed to guarantee the UK’s survival could hasten its political demise, argues William Walker in the August-September 2015 issue of Survival.

Adelphi book

Asia's Latent Nuclear Powers

Under what conditions would the democracies in Northeast Asia seek to join the nuclear weapons club?