Review:Statement of Principles, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Published 2009

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Statement of Principles

Statement of Principles, Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

The 2009 Statement of Principles of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism are, according the U.S. Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, “a set of broad nuclear security goals that encompass a range of deterrence, detection, prevention, and response objectives. The eight principles contained within the SOP aim to develop partnership capacity to combat nuclear terrorism, consistent with national legal authorities and obligations as well as relevant international legal frameworks such as the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540″.

Participants in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism are committed to the following Statement of Principles to develop partnership capacity to combat nuclear terrorism on a determined and systematic basis, consistent with national legal authorities and obligations they have under relevant international legal frameworks, notably the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment, United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540. They call on all states concerned with this threat to international peace and security, to make a commitment to implement on a voluntary basis the following principles:

  • Develop, if necessary, and improve accounting, control and physical protection systems for nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances;
  • Enhance security of civilian nuclear facilities;
  • Improve the ability to detect nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances in order to prevent illicit trafficking in such materials and substances, to include cooperation in the research and development of national detection capabilities that would be interoperable;
  • Improve capabilities of participants to search for, confiscate, and establish safe control over unlawfully held nuclear or other radioactive materials and substances or devices using them.
  • Prevent the provision of safe haven to terrorists and financial or economic resources to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances;
  • Ensure adequate respective national legal and regulatory frameworks sufficient to provide for the implementation of appropriate criminal and, if applicable, civil liability for terrorists and those who facilitate acts of nuclear terrorism;
  • Improve capabilities of participants for response, mitigation, and investigation, in cases of terrorist attacks involving the use of nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances, including the development of technical means to identify nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances that are, or may be, involved in the incident; and
  • Promote information sharing pertaining to the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism and their facilitation, taking appropriate measures consistent with their national law and international obligations to protect the confidentiality of any information which they exchange in confidence. Continue reading

Iran’s Nuclear Program


Speakers: Elliott Abrams, CFR Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
Matthew Kroenig, CFR Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow
Ray Takeyh, CFR Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
Presider: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,

November 9, 2011
Council on Foreign Relations


BERNARD GWERTZMAN:  Greetings.  I’m Bernard Gwertzman.  I’m a consulting editor at the Council on Foreign Relations website and I do interviews with prominent experts, including the three men you have — will be talking with today.  I’m happy to introduce them.
We have Matthew Kroenig, who is the Stanton nuclear security fellow at the council, and he is an assistant professor at Georgetown and had worked as a strategist in the secretary of defense’s office.  He’s a nuclear specialist.  And I’ll ask him soon to explain what the nuclear debate’s all about.
And we have Elliott Abrams, who’s the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the council, who’s a long-time government official, starting in the Reagan administration, many different jobs, and was a senior director for human rights and for the Middle East in the Bush — in the last Bush administration.
And finally, Ray Takeyh, who is the council’s Iranian expert, who is senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies and briefly served as a special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia at the State Department.
Welcome, guys.  And I’d like to start by asking Mr. Kroenig to give us a short precis on what was in this report from the International Atomic energy Agency yesterday, that’s caused a lot of flurry.  And if you — if you wouldn’t mind, Matthew, giving us a summary.

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The Persian Incursion

What I learned as the armchair general of a paper Israeli air force.



This weekend, I sat down on my dining room table and prepared to set the Middle East aflame. I was playing Persian Incursion, a board game of a hypothetical Israeli air campaign to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Or, at least so far it’s hypothetical. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report suggesting that Iran has continued to build up its nuclear weapons program. And with Israel making serious noises about dropping bombs before Iran develops The Bomb, fiction could soon become reality. I set about seeing which side would win.

Persian Incursion is a paper war game, one of those fascinating yet complex beasts that appeals to armchair generals — it combines the fun of a strategy game like Risk with the intellectual stimulation of reading contemporary nonfiction. The game was co-designed by techno-thriller writer Larry Bond, best known for co-authoring Red Storm Rising with Tom Clancy. (Clancy actually tested the plot for another bestselling book, The Hunt for Red October, on Bond’s Harpoon naval war game.)

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Trouble over Tehran

Five reasons that Israel and the United States might want to think long and hard about preemptively striking Iran‘s nuclear facilities.



This week’s imminent publication of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear program — details of which have been leaking out — is expected to provide evidence that Tehran is hard at work building a nuclear weapon. Once again, the proverbial tick-tock in media and diplomatic circles has begun: Is a U.S.-backed Israeli strike against Iran in the offing?

Much of the saber rattling and the leaks from Israel may be designed to use the IAEA report to motivate the international community to do more about Iran’s developing nuclear program and to lay down a warning of what the consequences might be if it doesn’t. Already, China and Russia are urging evidence in the report be kept secret, so it’s a good bet that they would block any proposals for kinetic action, and perhaps even further sanctions, in the United Nations. The Israelis might decide for any number of reasons that they must launch a military strike at some point; and it might be that a U.S. president cannot be in a position to dissuade them. Indeed, as a tiny nation living on the knife’s edge with a dark history and a track record of successful pre-emption against military threats, the Israelis may well act at some point, though not necessarily now.

Before they do, here are the five top reasons they might want to consider keeping their jets and missiles on the ground:


1. There’s no good end state. Striking Iranian nuclear sites is like mowing the grass. Unless a strike succeeded in permanently crippling the Iranian capacity to produce and weaponize fissile material, the grass would only grow back again. And no strike — or even series of strikes — can accomplish this. Iran’s hardened sites, redundancy of facilities, and secret locations present significant obstacles to a successful attack. Even in the best-case scenario — an incomplete strike that, say, set back the Iranian nuclear program by two to three years — the Iranians would reseed it with the kind of legitimacy and urgency that can only come from having been attacked by an outside power. Self-defense would then become the organizing principle of Iran’s nuclear program; it would resonate tremendously throughout the Middle East and even in the international community.

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Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540

Security Council


Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council Committee

established pursuant to resolution 1540

27th & 28th Meetings (AM & PM)



Atomic Energy Agency Warns Meeting That Risk of Nuclear Material Use in Malicious

Acts ‘High’; World Health Organization Prepares for ‘Potentially Deliberate Event’

Citing ever greater risks to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, which were challenging Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) to effectively bind every State to develop and enforce domestic controls to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of non-State actors, organizations concerned with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and missile technology grappled with the resolution’s far-reaching legislative and technical obligations today, as a comprehensive review of implementation continued at Headquarters.

That review meeting, which ends on Friday, 2 October, is intended to assess the evolution of risks and threats, address specific critical issues, and identify possible new approaches for implementing resolution 1540, which seeks to prevent the acquisition by non-State actors of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) third Nuclear Security Plan, approved in September, acknowledged that the risk that nuclear and other radioactive materials could be used in malicious acts remained high and was a serious threat, its representative said.  It also confirmed that the responsibility for nuclear security rested entirely on each State, and that effective national systems for nuclear security were vital in facilitating the peaceful use of nuclear energy and enhancing global efforts to combat nuclear terrorism.

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