Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 18, 2012. Their meeting focused on nuclear cooperation, among other things. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

 

  • Russia’s ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
  • The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort.

Turkey’s announcement over the summer that it had signed a deal with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) — of Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One stardom — to begin building three nuclear power plants in the near future is cause for concern. The $20 billion deal, which has been in the works since 2010, involves the construction in Mersin of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — Turkey’s first-ever such plant— will be operational in 2023. Continue reading

President Trump Takes Aim at Iran’s ‘Clandestine Nuclear Weapons Program’

 

President Donald J. Trump put the Iranian regime on notice with his speech last week: the time when the United States (U.S.) government would turn a blind eye to its decades-long drive for deliverable nuclear weapons is over. Citing a long litany of destabilizing, rogue behavior on the part of Tehran, the president announced he would not re-certify Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear deal. Continue reading

Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again?

A new global nuclear arms race may soon begin, and the world will have Putin to thank.

In 1994, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Kingdom entered into an agreement to remove former Soviet nuclear weapons from Ukraine, later known as the Budapest Memorandum. Ukraine agreed to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In the history of nuclear weapons, only four states have ever walked away from nuclear capabilities: three post-Soviet states (Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and South Africa, which had covertly developed a nuclear weapons arsenal. Continue reading

China concerned by reports of Japan holding weapons-grade plutonium

China said on Monday it was “extremely concerned” by a report that Japan has resisted returning to the United States more than 300kg of mostly weapons-grade plutonium, the latest dispute between the two Asian neighbours.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency said that Washington had pressed Japan to give back the nuclear material which could be used to make up to 50 nuclear bombs. Japan had resisted, but finally given in to US demands, it added. Continue reading

Four new Iranian conditions block nuclear accord in Geneva. Lavrov intercedes with Rouhani, attacks Israel

The US and Russian presidents after bringing all their weight to bear on Tehran have failed to gain an inch toward a possible deal at the resumed nuclear talks in Geneva Wednesday Nov. 20, after being blocked by hardliners at the Iranian end. Tuesday, Kayhan, the mouthpiece of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, ran an article telling Foreign Minister Javad Zarif he should not go to Geneva at all.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources reveal the red lines with which the Iranian delegation to the talks has been armed for accepting an interim deal with the six powers on their nuclear program: Continue reading

China’s deepening role in Pakistan’s nuclear development

International concerns have been raised by Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal, while Beijing has faced much criticism for its co-operation over nuclear energy with Islamabad.

Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who turned the country nuclear in 1998, sought Chinese assistance in the field of civil nuclear technology to overcome the country’s energy crisis during a meeting with visiting Premier Li Keqiang in Islamabad last month. Continue reading

Returning to the Land or Turning Toward the Sea? India’s Role in America’s Pivot

China is pushing the U.S. and India closer. Are they focusing on the wrong set of challenges?

Few diplomatic overtures have generated loftier expectations in recent years than Washington’s rapprochement with New Delhi. Frequently at loggerheads during the Cold War, then kept apart by the U.S. commitment to counter-proliferation and India’s pursuit of a nuclear deterrent, the two sides have never had a warm relationship. That began to change during the George W. Bush administration, a transformation that was symbolized by a controversial agreement allowing the United States to sell civilian nuclear technology to India, despite its status as a nuclear-armed nation that is not recognized by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Obama administration has since picked up where its predecessor left off. The president, for example, has called India a “natural ally” of the United States, while his former secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, declared that India was “a linchpin” of America’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific. Continue reading