Thursday, April 30, 2015

Strategic Trade Review

Dear Readers,
Five years, 1200 posts, and almost 2000 "followers" later, I have big news. The original concept of this website was to disseminate information about a topic I felt was growing in importance, evolving, changing, and hugely relevant for our time. I wanted to introduce others to the wide variety of topics it relates to, its cross-cutting nature, and the challenges it poses. During these five years I have learned a lot and have been lucky to gain experience not just thinking and analyzing export controls from afar, but to become familiar with their implementation, through working with many countries, organizations and individuals.

Six months ago it occurred to me that it was long past due to create an academic publication- something high-quality, peer-reviewed, and as technical as possible, about the field. My hope is that inaugurating such a journal also potentially establishes strategic trade as its own academic field- taught in universities, discussed at academic conferences, and analyzed from a long-term, global point of view.

Therefore, please let me introduce The Strategic Trade Review, a refereed journal dedicated to conventional and dual-use trade control. The journal aims to provide high-quality, peer-reviewed articles that tackle the complex field of trade and security. It features articles in the following areas: international law, technological developments, good practices, implementation analysis, risk-assessment, enforcement, prosecution, capacity-building (strategy, methodology, case studies), comparative studies, historical analysis, licensing issues, sanctions, definitions, patterns and trends, jurisdiction, international cooperation, regional cooperation, industry outreach and communication, and other related topics.

As it's an international journal, I hope you will spread the word or think about submitting an article yourself. You can find more information on the website of the Strategic Trade Review: or e-mail

Submissions to be included in the first edition, to be published in autumn, must be submitted by June 30, 2015 for consideration.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Russia to Build Eight More Reactors in Iran

World Nuclear News
November 11, 2014

The agreement – one of a series of documents broadening the cooperation of Russia and Iran in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy - was signed in Moscow by Sergey Kirienko, Rosatom director general, and Ali-Akbar Salehi, vice-president of Iran and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

Kirienko and Salehi signed a protocol to the intergovernmental agreement between the two countries concerning cooperation in construction of a nuclear power plant in Iran of 25 August, 1992 and the interagency memorandum of understanding concerning the broadening of their cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy.

In their presence, a contract for construction of two power units for Bushehr Phase II was signed by the heads of Rosatom subsidiary NIAEP-ASE and the Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

South Africa and France Sign Nuclear Accord

World Nuclear News
October 14, 2014

South Africa has signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with France, opening the door to the possible deployment of French nuclear technology as South Africa looks to expand its nuclear power program.

The inter-governmental framework agreement signed by South African energy minister Tina Joemat-Petterson and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius covers areas including skills development, localisation of nuclear technology as well as research and development in South Africa. Joemat-Petterson signed a similar agreement with Russia in September, and an agreement with China is also due to be signed.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weapons of Mass E-Commerce

Financial Times
September 26, 2014

"Among the items for sale on the online site is technical equipment that can be used in nuclear arms"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Website Launched: EU Outreach in Export Control

Within the framework of the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence (CoE) initiative, a new web portal to host information regarding EU outreach on export controls has been launched to communicate and coordinate activities in dual-use goods and conventional arms export controls. The EU is a longstanding provider of outreach activities aimed at the overall strengthening of export controls in line with international regimes, standards and best practices. The new portal, funded by the European Commission under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), will host both public information pages and a private members' portal for both EU member state experts and partner countries. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Israeli Arrested on U.S.- Charges of Illegal Export of Military Items to Iran

Los Angeles Times
May 12, 2014

An Israeli citizen suspected of illegal trade with Iran and money laundering was arrested Monday at the request of American authorities, justice officials in Israel said.

According to a statement from Israel’s Justice Ministry, U.S. officials filed a request to arrest the 64-year-old Israeli in March, with plans to seek the man’s extradition.

Israeli authorities described the man only as an Israeli citizen born in 1950 and residing in central Israel. He was arrested at Ben-Gurion airport on his way out of the country.

The international affairs division of the attorney general’s office asked the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to remand the man for 20 days, but the court ordered him held for 48 hours.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Vietnam Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation

US Department of State
May 8, 2014

On May 8, 2014, President Obama submitted to Congress for its review an Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

Upon entry into force, following the statutorily required Congressional review, the Agreement (also called a 123 Agreement after the relevant section of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act) will establish the legal framework for the United States to engage in civil nuclear cooperation with Vietnam under agreed nonproliferation conditions and controls.

This Agreement reflects the strength and breadth of the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, which President Obama and Vietnamese President Sang launched in July 2013 in Washington, DC. The Agreement will establish a firm foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation in civil nuclear energy and will support Vietnam’s aspirations for a peaceful nuclear energy program with the highest standards of safety, nonproliferation safeguards, and security.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MTCR: Is Turkey Planning to Bypass Global Ammunition Regime?

April 29, 2014

Western diplomats and military officials remain puzzled over remarks by a Turkish minister that Turkey is set out to produce unspecified types of ammunition and thus circumvent foreign suppliers’ potential sales blockades.

In a recent speech, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık said Turkey would launch a “national” factory this year to produce its own “warheads, airplane bombs and plastic explosives.”
He said the new factory would end Turkey’s dependence on foreign suppliers of this type of ammunition. 

The proposed production facility would be located adjacent to another ammunition factory operated by state-controlled weapons manufacturer MKE in the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale. It will produce 600 tons of plastic explosives, Işık said. “The special production equipment used in ammunition factories are subject to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and buyers need permission from the producing countries to obtain these materials,” Işık said. “According to the international treaties Turkey is a signatory to, we have had to obtain export licenses from the supplier company’s country to meet our requirements for warheads and bombs. And we failed to meet our needs if the country in question did not allow its manufacturer. We aim to end this [problem] by producing [those items] ourselves.”

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Significant Amendments to Canadian Export and Technology Transfer Controls

McCarthy Tetrault
By: John W. BoscariolApril 24, 2014

The Canadian government has announced that effective May 22, 2014 a new version of the Guide to Canada’s Export Controls will come into force. The current version of the Guide is being amended to reflect changes in Canada’s commitments under multilateral export control regimes. There are over 250 amendments adding, deleting and clarifying goods and technology subject to export control and permit requirements. Canadian companies that export or engage in any software or technology transfers from Canada should be carefully reviewing the amendments to ensure they are compliant and availing themselves of any applicable de-controls when the new Guide comes into force.
The April 23, 2014 Canada Gazette Part II publication of these regulatory amendments can be found here. The modifications, additions and deletions were made to the Guide in accordance with changes to the multilateral export control regimes under the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, and the Australia Group. The new Guide will reflect the changes to these control regimes up to December 2012.
These changes will impact goods and technology throughout most of the categories set out in the Guide and include revisions to commercial dual-use (including encryption, telecommunications and electronic items), military and aerospace, missile technology, and chemical and biological weapons-related items. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s Export Controls Division has published a detailed list of the affected items.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cloud Services and Export Control: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

White & Case LLP
By: Trevor Nagel and Robert E. L. Hasty
April 17, 2014

Cloud services in all forms are becoming widely adopted by enterprise customers. Public, private and hybrid cloud service offerings continue to grow in number and nature. Companies are migrating to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings in areas such as workforce automation, email and office productivity suites.

A key driver of the value captured by a cloud architecture, and a distinction from a set of virtualized servers, is that cloud service providers (CSPs) constantly move, and even divide, customers' processing and data to and among servers in different data centers. This is undertaken in a way that is imperceptible and unknown to users. CSPs gain efficiencies as a result of load balancing or arbitraging lower prices for input costs such as electricity prices by "following the sun" every the day, relocating processing and storage to stay in night time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Age X-Ray Machine Can Detect Small Quantities Of Nuclear Material And Help Prevent Illegal Trafficking

International Science Times
April 15, 2014

A major concern for national and international security agencies all over the world is to safeguarding nuclear material and preventing it from falling into the wrong hands. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the possibility of terrorist organizations using nuclear weapons by acquiring critical quantities of plutonium or highly enriched uranium (HEU) to construct a crude nuclear explosive device, is the greatest threat to nuclear security. The IAEA also states that illegal trafficking of small quantities of nuclear material is highly possible since they are difficult to detect.

But now a joint research team from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has come up with a special algorithm, which when coupled with conventional, commercially available spectral X-ray detectors can improve the detection of uranium and plutonium in small, layered objects such as baggage. This method with its superior X-ray imaging can be used effectively to detect and prevent illegal transport of nuclear materials, according to a press release Tuesday.

Nigeria Planning Country's First Nuclear Power Plant

Huffington Post
April 15, 2014
By: John Daly

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and is currently the world's 12th largest oil producer, pumping 2.25 million barrels per day. Nigeria in 2012 was also the world's fourth leading exporter of LNG.

According to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration, "Nigeria has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world. Electricity generation falls short of demand, resulting in load shedding, blackouts and a reliance on private generators. Nigeria is in the process of privatizing the state-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in hopes that it will lead to greater investment and increased power generation."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Nuclear Export Group Debates Ties with Israel

April 14, 2014

The United States and three European allies want a global body controlling nuclear exports to consider whether to establish closer ties with non-members including Israel, despite its assumed atomic arsenal, a confidential document showed.

The issue is sensitive as Israel is outside a 1970 international pact designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and the Jewish state is widely believed to be the only country with such arms in the volatile Middle East.

Arab states and Iran often criticize Israel for not signing up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel and Washington say it is Iran, which is in the 189-nation NPT, that poses the region's most urgent proliferation threat, although Tehran says its program is for peaceful uses only.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chinese Man, Iran Firms Charged in Nuclear Export Case - Pressure Transducers

April 4, 2014

A Chinese national and two Iranian firms were charged in the U.S. with conspiring to export devices that can be used in uranium enrichment, the second case revealed this week in a Justice Department crackdown on the proliferation of restricted technology.

Sihai Cheng was arrested Feb. 7 while traveling in the U.K., the U.S. said today in a statement. He is being held there pending a June hearing on extradition to face charges in Boston.

Iran is among countries including Pakistan and China being aided by networks of people to evade U.S. trade embargoes and obtain parts with military uses or restricted technology. More than 100 people have been charged with exporting such items to Iran since the U.S. began a crackdown in 2007.

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