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Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN)

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Patricia A. McNerney heads the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. ISN leads the U.S. effort to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, their related materials, and their delivery systems.

The ISN Bureau:

  • spearheads efforts to promote international consensus on WMD proliferation through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy;
  • leads the development of diplomatic responses to specific bilateral and regional WMD proliferation challenges, including today’s threats posed by Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Develops and supports strategic dialogues with India, Pakistan, China, and other key states or groups of states.
  • addresses WMD proliferation threats posed by non-state actors and terrorist groups by improving physical security, using interdiction and sanctions, and actively participating in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI);
  • works closely with the UN, the G-8, NATO, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international institutions and organizations to reduce and eliminate the threat posed by WMD
  • supports efforts of the international community to prevent, protect against, and respond to the threat or use of WMD by terrorists; leads coordination for the U.S. government's as co-chair to the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, a partnership of 75 countries (and growing) committed to preventing, protecting against, and responding to nuclear terrorism.

Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Arab Emirates Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
January 15, 2009

On January 15, 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed signed an Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Arab Emirates Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (a so-called ‘123 Agreement’ after the relevant section of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act) in Washington. [more]

Designation of A.Q. Khan and Associates for Nuclear Proliferation Activities
January 12, 2009

Dr. A.Q. Khan led an extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear equipment and know-how that provided “one stop shopping” for countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons. He and his associates provided Iran and Libya with centrifuge components, designs, and, in some cases, complete centrifuges. The United States also believes that Khan and his associates provided centrifuge designs, equipment, and technology to North Korea. Dr. Khan also provided Libya with nuclear weapon designs. With the assistance of Khan’s network, countries could leapfrog the slow, incremental stages of other nuclear weapons development programs. In 2004, following Libya’s welcome decision to renounce its nuclear program, the United States removed from Libya items it had received from the network. [more]

Treasury Designation of Two Iranian EntitiesTied to Proliferation Activities
December 17, 2008

Bank Melli was designated by the United States under Executive Order 13382 in October 2007, was identified in UN Security Council Resolution 1803 as a bank of proliferation concern warranting greater scrutiny, and was designated by the European Union in August 2008 for its support for proliferation. Bank Melli provides financial services, including opening letters of credit and maintaining accounts, for Iranian front companies and entities engaged in proliferation activities. [more]


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Media Note: U.S.-UAE Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation (123 Agreement), Jan. 15, 2009

Press Statement: Iraq's Accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Jan. 14, 2009

Media Note: The President Approves Ratification of the U.S.-IAEA Additional Protocol, (Dec. 31, 2008)

Establishing the International Framework to Deter Development of Weapons Technology Amidst the Global Nuclear Renaissance
Remarks by Deputy Assistant Secretary Hayward (Dec. 3): "As we face the challenges of the nuclear renaissance, it is good to know that many key components of the nonproliferation framework are already in place. However, the expected expansion of nuclear energy worldwide will place unprecedented strain on the present framework. This is why we must continue to develop, reinforce and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation framework."

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