UN Security Council resolution closed the mandate of UNMOVIC putting an end to the Iraqi nuclear issue


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PIR Center Blog


Since its foundation, the P5 Process has been facing challenges along the way. The geopolitical context is one of the key sources of those challenges because relations among the five nuclear-weapon states (P5) – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – do not take place in a vacuum. Clearly, the current foreign and security policy context creates unprecedented obstacles for the format.


The CEO of Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, met in Kaliningrad on April 1, 2022. Before arriving in Russia, the agency's delegation spent two days in Ukraine. This visit was the first for Mariano Grossi to Russia. As a result, it can be noted that the bilateral negotiations were productive and unbiased, both sides expressed largely the same opinion on key issues related to ensuring nuclear and physical security.


On March 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The parties expectedly affirmed further strengthening of their strategic partnership, condemned the use of unilateral sanctions, and discussed the situation in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Ukraine. To make a long story short, the statements made did not convey much political meaning.


President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said he agreed to a "neutral and nuclear-free" Ukraine. This is already a step forward. But, from the point of view of the interests of forming a new European security architecture, this is not enough. Nuclear tension prevails over Europe. In a number of non-nuclear states, from Germany to Turkey, American nuclear weapons are deployed, which are of a destabilizing nature. While maintaining the confrontation, it is impossible to exclude the appearance of Russian nuclear weapons on the territory of non-nuclear Belarus.


The recent developments around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, have again sparked discussions about whether Tehran is dragging out the negotiation process to win time to produce nuclear weapons, thus presenting the world with a fait accompli. Regional neighbors of Iran, too, follow the events in Vienna with increasingly close attention and strain, worrying that, with or without a deal, Iran will pursue a more emboldened regional strategy. While empirical evidence does shed some light on Iran’s nuclear behavior, a different way of looking at the issue is through a conceptual rather than empirical lens. This essay makes such an attempt by drawing upon the argument from a newly published book, “Seeking the Bomb: Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation”, by Vipin Narang, a renowned expert on deterrence posturing and proliferation theory.