HOUSE CONSIDERS VARIOUS NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUESThis past week has brought a lot of focus to key national security issues in Congress. The House considered the annual Defense Authorization bill, a vehicle for votes on many defense, foreign policy and other national security issues. The House Armed Services Committee had already voted to add $37 billion to President Biden’s proposed national defense budget of $813 billion. House Members proposed a phenomenal 1,220 amendments for votes, but the House Rules Committee pared that number down drastically and move many to voice votes of several amendments. Our analysis is ongoing, and we’ll share with you as soon as it’s complete.
IRAN NUCLEAR NEGOTATIONS ARE GOING NOWHERE FAST
Following a U.S.- and European-led censure of Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors meeting in June for failing to comply with the IAEA’s investigation into undeclared fissile material from its pre-2004 nuclear weapons program, Iran responded by further limiting the IAEA oversight abilities at its nuclear facilities and installed more advanced centrifuges. To help explain the new technical and legal restraints on the IAEA’s activities at Iran’s nuclear facilities, Research Analyst Samuel Hickey and former lawyer for the IAEA Laura Rockwood briefed Hill staffers on what these activities portend for the longevity of the nuclear accord in its life-support state.
In an effort to break the diplomatic impasse, the United States and Iran met via a European intermediary in Qatar for two days, but there was no discernable progress as Iran put more maximalist positions on the table, frustrating the United States’ delegation. While President Biden continues to believe “that diplomacy is the best way” to manage Iran’s advancing nuclear program, he has also emphasized that talks will not go on forever.
For Iran, keeping the prospects of a nuclear deal alive while advancing its nuclear program may be part of the strategy, but as time goes on, it is less and less incentivized to get a deal because sanctions relief can only be promised until January 2025 with the possibility of extension depending on the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. If Democrats lose control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, then Iran may be even less inclined to secure a deal.
JOIN OUR SISTER ORGANIZATION FOR A CONVERSATION WITH REP. ANDY LEVINZoom. There will be a chance to ask Rep. Levin your questions — when registering for the event, be sure to note your question. We look forward to seeing you there!Join the Center’s sister organization, Council for a Livable World, and Executive Director John Tierney as he sits down one-on-one with Michigan Congressman Andy Levin for a discussion of Rep. Levin’s passion for cutting wasteful and excessive Pentagon spending, and other topics. The event will take place this Tuesday, July 19, at 7 p.m. ET via
SPOTLIGHT: CENTER’S SCIENTISTS WORKING GROUP
Did you know the Center hosts the Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemical Security? In addition to sharing their experience in non-proliferation, this group of experts from across the country provides guidance on critical issues including biodefense, epidemiology, global health security and more.
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