Pakistan has test launched a medium-range missile capable of delivering nuclear warheads to a target up to 1300 km away. That makes the Hatf V (Ghauri) missile capable off hitting deep targets in India. Meanwhile, the father of the Pakistani nuclear program, A.Q. Khan, has registered a new political party in the country. It is unclear yet whether he himself will run for election (the polls might be held in May), but as the chairman of the party, Mr. Khan would have significant oversight over how the party’s political campaign is run.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has expressed concern for the inspectors his agency has sent to Iran, saying that they are being exposed to increasing duress as fears mount that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. Iran has stated that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only. However, the IAEA head Yukiya Amano has implied that his agency’s inspectors are facing increased “pressures” and that the agency’s main concern is their safety.
The IAEA has reported that North Korea is pushing ahead with the construction of a new nuclear reactor. The light water reactor is located at the main Yongbyon nuclear facility.
At the Guardian, Praful Bidwai makes the case for a well-timed, diplomatic initiative on Iran.
At the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress dismiss a recently leaked diagram on Iran’s nuclear weapon simulations as the result of “shoddy sources or shoddy science.”