Regarding Significant Reductions of Iranian Crude Oil Purchases

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 7, 2012


The United States and the international community remain committed to maintaining pressure on the Iranian regime until it fully addresses concerns about its nuclear program. That’s why today I am pleased to announce that China, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan have again qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, based on additional reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran. As a result, I will report to the Congress that exceptions to sanctions pursuant to Section 1245 of the NDAA for certain transactions will apply to the financial institutions based in these countries for a potentially renewable period of 180 days.

A total of 20 countries and economies have continued to significantly reduce the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran. According to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration report to Congress, Iran’s oil production fell by one million barrels per day in September and October 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. This has reduced Iran’s export volumes and oil revenues, which fund not only the nuclear program but its support for terror and destabilizing actions in the region. The message to the Iranian regime from the international community is clear: take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community through negotiations with the P5+1, or face increasing isolation and pressure.

Go behind the scenes at the U.S. Department of State to learn more about the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, an operations center equipped with permanent, secure, and reliable lines of direct communication with foreign governments to perform the critical mission of sustaining strategic nuclear security twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

Nuclear Risk Reduction Center: 25 Years of Confidence Building Through Information Exchange

About the Author: Chris Comeau is a United States Air Force Colonel serving as the acting Director of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center at the Department of State.

Inside the Department of States sits an operations center equipped with permanent, secure, and reliable lines of direct communication with foreign governments to perform the critical mission of sustaining strategic nuclear security twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week — the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center (NRRC). The NRRC was established under President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev on September 15, 1987, to serve as a communications channel to reduce the risk of conflict. The U.S. NRRC is one of two Centers; the other is located in the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow. Both centers are staffed around the clock by officers trained to operate data and notification automation systems.

In my Air Force career, training for a grave scenario involving a… more »

Readout on the United Nations Security Council P-5+1 Ministerial

Special Briefing
Senior State Department Official
New York, NY
September 27, 2012


SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: …[T]he P-5+1 remains completely unified in wanting to get the Iranians to consider and to address the concerns of the international community, and that the P-5+1 is completely united in ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.

In addition, the P-5+1 is unified in our dual-track approach. No one likes sanctions. We understand that sanctions sometimes not only hurt countries, but have an effect for people’s day-to-day lives. We’re quite well aware of that. But we believe that it is necessary for Iran to understand that there are consequences to their not addressing the concerns of the international community, and we believe that it also helps to create political space for the diplomacy, which is far and away the preferred way to deal with this issue. All of the ministers were unified in their belief that diplomacy is the much preferred way forward, and that we are committed to that dialogue and diplomacy, and to the dual-track approach which we have been pursuing.

We discussed how we will proceed forward in making sure that we have all of the right substance on the table. We expect there to be contact in the next instance between Cathy Ashton and Dr. Jalili to discuss the next steps forward. She had said she would call him after this P-5+1 consultation, both with political directors and ministers. She will do that. They will talk about what we discussed as possible next steps. We think we will do this – continue to do this in a step-by-step process, which will include some additional consultations among ourselves, then consultations with the Iranians. And I would suspect at some point, we will indeed return to P-5+1 political directors track for a fourth round.

But we are taking this step by step, and so I think unity is – was the key word today. There was complete unanimity among the ministers most importantly, and also a strong affirmation of the job that the High Representative has been doing in coordinating this effort and coordinating these talks and the way forward. MORE

25 Years of Enhanced Strategic Security Through the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 15, 2012


Today, the U.S. Department of State commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the creation of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers (NRRCs). Established under President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev with the purpose of opening a communications channel to reduce the risk of conflict, the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and are equipped with secure and reliable lines of direct communication to perform the critical mission of sustaining strategic security.

Over the years, the U.S. NRRC has expanded its role in bilateral and multilateral security and confidence building arrangements, supporting conventional treaties and agreements with a wide variety of foreign partners and international institutions.

Today, the U.S. NRRC exchanges thousands of time-sensitive notifications a year under a multitude of arms control treaties and agreements such as the New START Treaty and is a key resource for the promotion of transparency and stability that enhances confidence and directly contributes to our national security interests.

As we meet the security challenges of the 21st century, we will continue to support future arms control measures and explore new ways at strengthening modern confidence building through technical and innovative means.

For further information, visit http://www.state.gov/t/avc/nrrc

Generation Prague: Working Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

President Barack Obama delivers a public speech to thousands of people on the Hradcany Square in Prague, Czech Republic, on April 5, 2009. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: About the Author: Blake Narendra serves as an intern in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.

Last Monday, I joined students and young professionals at a day-long conference at the Department of State to discuss the security challenges we all face in the 21st Century.

The 3rd Annual Generation Prague Conference highlighted the agenda and accomplishments that have followed President Obama’s 2009 Prague speech where he outlined the United States’ commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons have been with us for more than sixty-five years. Getting to “zero” will not occur overnight. Moving the Prague Agenda forward will only be possible if a new generation of leaders embraces this nuclear security challenge as an opportunity.

Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, participated in a panel with Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation… more »

Trilateral Announcement Between Mexico, the United States, and Canada on Nuclear Security

At the March 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, the Governments of Mexico, the United States, and Canada announced the completion of an important joint nuclear security project to convert the fuel in Mexico’s research reactor from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU).  The project was initiated at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. in April 2010, and was carried out by the three countries, working closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 
 
The full conversion of the reactor from the use of HEU to LEU fuel supports the goal of minimizing the use of HEU for civilian purposes. By converting its research nuclear reactor, Mexico contributes to non-proliferation.
 
President Calderón stated, “With this decision, Mexico reaffirms its commitment to building a world free of the nuclear threat. Each country must do its share to reach a safer North America and a safer planet. This is a clear example of the significant work we can do together in the North American region.”
 
This effort, which was conducted and completed under the auspices of the IAEA, benefited from the hard work and dedication of hundreds of individuals from all three countries and the IAEA, and it further strengthens nuclear security in North America.
 
President Obama stated, “I would like to thank Mexico, Canada and the IAEA for their support of our joint nuclear security efforts.  Our strong trilateral partnership, supported by the IAEA, has made our people safer and advanced our international nuclear security effort leading into the Seoul Summit.” 
 
Prime Minister Harper added that “The successful completion of this project demonstrates the concrete steps countries can collectively take in the context of the Nuclear Security Summit. We will continue to work with the United States and Mexico to enhance nuclear security in our region and worldwide.”
 
The conversion will not only extend the length of time the Mexican reactor can operate with LEU fuel, it also makes the reactor eligible for further program engagement under the IAEA.  With the provided fuel, Mexico’s National Institute for Nuclear Research (ININ) also has the potential to increase the reactor power output, which would greatly improve its capabilities for medical and industrial isotope production, silicon doping, neutron radiography, and nuclear physics research such as neutron activation analysis.

Remarks by President Obama and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan Before Bilateral Meeting

President Barack Obama: “Twenty years ago, Kazakhstan made a decision not to have nuclear weapons.  And not only has that led to growth and prosperity in his own country, but he has been a model in efforts around the world to eliminate nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands.”

U.S. Condemns Iran’s Announcement on Qom

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State 
Washington, DC
January 10, 2012

The United States condemns the Iranian Government’s decision to begin enrichment operations at its Qom facility, an act contrary to its obligations under multiple United Nations Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolutions. This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for its responsibilities and that the country’s growing isolation is self-inflicted.

The circumstances surrounding this latest action are especially troubling. Iran only declared the Qom facility to the IAEA after it was discovered by the international community following three years of covert construction. Iran has announced it intends to consolidate and increase its production of uranium enriched to a near 20 percent level at this facility. There is no plausible justification for this production. Such enrichment brings Iran a significant step closer to having the capability to produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.

Iran claims that this decision was necessary to produce fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). This is false. The P5+1 has offered alternatives for providing fuel for the TRR despite Iran’s longstanding refusal to fulfill its international nuclear obligations. Iran has refused these offers.

We call upon Iran to immediately cease uranium enrichment and to comply with its international nuclear obligations. We also call on Iran to return to negotiations with the P5+1, prepared to engage seriously on its nuclear program, and urge Iran to reply to this effect to High Representative Ashton’s letter from October 2011. We reaffirm that our overall goal remains a comprehensive, negotiated solution that restores confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program while respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy consistent with its obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Secretary Clinton Meets With German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on April 14, 2011. Before their meeting, Secretary Clinton said:

"It is wonderful to be back in Berlin and to have this opportunity to meet with the Chancellor to discuss a number of issues that are of great importance to both of us. I appreciate that NATO is meeting here in Berlin because Germany is such an essential partner in NATO and the work that was done at the Lisbon Summit to chart the way forward for NATO is going to provide the strategic direction that we are seeking to implement.

"We work together in Afghanistan. We are committed to following through to achieve the mutual objective of working toward a world without nuclear weapons. We are also sharing the same goal which is… more »