The first month of 2016 is a juncture of promise and peril in global efforts against nuclear proliferation. It appears likely that Implementation Day for the Iran nuclear accord will occur this month. This is sooner than many experts considered possible, but Iran, eager for the political benefits of sanctions relief, has moved quickly to ship low-enriched uranium out of the country and to remove some 14,000 centrifuges and the calandria of the Arak reactor. Although the fierce cold war between Iran and Saudi Arabia has worsened, and Iran has angered Washington with missile firings near American and French ships in the Gulf, the first stage of implementing the accord is going as well as might be expected. Meanwhile, North Korea on 6 January conducted a nuclear test of what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. This claim is unlikely, but Pyongyang’s bombast on the matter is a dark reminder of the dangers posed by its nuclear recklessness. Dr Gary Samore, former Director of Studies at the IISS, who has dealt with both countries’ nuclear programs at the highest levels of the United States government, assessed the non-proliferation agenda in regard to both countries.
Dr Gary Samore is the Executive Director for Research at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In December 2015, he was appointed as a member of the Secretary for Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) under Secretary Ernest Moniz. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He served for four years as President Obama’s White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), including as US Sherpa for the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC and the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Korea. As WMD Coordinator, he served as the principal adviser to the President on all matters relating to arms control and the prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism, and coordinated US government activities, initiatives and programmes to prevent WMD proliferation and terrorism and promote international arms control efforts.
The meeting was chaired by Adam Ward, Director of Studies at the IISS. It took place in the fifth-floor Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 13-15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3X.
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