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Multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation

We aim to bolster the multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament regimes, particularly the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We provide ideas, analysis and research resources that support the efforts of serving diplomats in the NPT process. We also focus on specific regional challenges to the multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament system, including the future of nuclear diplomacy with Iran, and (in partnership with our sister Asia-Pacific Leadership Network) understanding Indo-Pacific perspectives on strategic risks. The ELN’s work has supported the P5 Dialogue, with a view to encouraging the NPT nuclear weapon states to engage jointly in strategic risk reduction. We also work to support the CTBT and encourage its entry into force and want to deepen the understanding of the concept of irreversibility in nuclear disarmament.

Latest Publications

Commentary

Iran: The implications of President Raisi’s death

The ELN’s Policy and Impact Director, Jane Kinninmont, analyses why the deaths of Iran’s President and Foreign Minister, Ebrahim Raisi and Hossein Amirabdollahian, doesn’t necessarily represent a shift in global politics. She explains that the probable candidates to replace Raisi are likely to endorse a continuation of current Iranian foreign policy, and any changes will be hard to notice for external observers.

22 May 2024 | Jane Kinninmont
Commentary

Out of the shadow war? Iranian narratives of the confrontation with Israel

Following Iran’s direct attack on Israel on 13th April, Hemidreaza Azizi examines both the official and unofficial discourse in Iran in recent days. He writes that most political experts and analysts in Iran seem to agree that Iran’s goal has been to restore deterrence and not to enter into war. However, concerns about the outbreak of an unintended war and its destructive consequences appear to be more pronounced among experts than among official figures.

19 April 2024 | Dr Hamidreza Azizi
Commentary

The Women Leader’s Podcast: The Middle East – Endless escalation

Ilana Bet-El, Senior Associate Fellow at the ELN, speaks with Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief of the Forward and former New York Times Bureau Chief in Israel, and Dr Roxane Farmanfarmaian of Cambridge University, Senior Associate Fellow at the ELN, and an expert on Iran and the Middle East. They discuss their own experiences of 7 October, their reactions to the war in Gaza, the implications for the media, geopolitics and the region, and the escalatory nature of the war following Iran’s increased role in the conflict over the past week.

Commentary

South Korea’s dangerous sense of isolation

Tanya Ogilvie-White writes that South Korea is becoming increasingly isolated from its Asia-Pacific security partners – Japan, Australia, the US, and the UK – in the way that it views the threat from North Korea. South Korea’s regional security partners’ increased focus on China and lessened attention on North Korea’s nuclear programme, risks isolating South Korea and undermining proliferation norms. Ogilvie-White argues that heightened collaborations are needed to avoid this.

17 April 2024 | Dr Tanya Ogilvie-White
Commentary

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine continues to threaten the nuclear order’s grand bargain

On the second anniversary of Putin’s war in Ukraine, Olamide Samuel writes that the invasion has upset the fragile balance of obligations in the NPT’s bargain by dramatically increasing the perceived salience of nuclear weapons and reigniting motivations for proliferation. In response, nuclear weapon states choosing to reinforce their extended deterrence commitments inadvertently devalues the wider framework of security assurances granted to non-nuclear weapon states and the perceived value of the NPT’s grand bargain.

27 February 2024 | Olamide Samuel
Commentary

The NPT needs a common understanding of “nuclear threats”: Questions and tasks for the 11th NPT Review Cycle

YGLN members Maren Vieluf and Ananya Agustin Malhotra argue that NPT states need to start talking about whether or not “defensive” and “offensive” nuclear threats can be distinguished. If NPT states can find agreement on this matter, it could bridge the gap between states condemning any and all nuclear threats under any circumstances and those states that stand firmly behind “defensive” nuclear threats and allow for further progress to be made in the 11th NPT Review Cycle.

15 February 2024 | Maren Vieluf and Ananya Agustin Malhotra

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