March 28, 2005
The Washington Post

Saving Nonproliferation

'The United States is the major culprit in this erosion of the NPT'

by Jimmy Carter

Renewal talks for the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are scheduled for May, yet the United States and other nuclear powers seem indifferent to its fate. . . .

So far the preparatory committee for the forthcoming NPT talks has failed even to achieve an agenda because of the deep divisions between nuclear powers that refuse to meet their own disarmament commitments and the nonnuclear movement, whose demands include honoring these pledges and considering the Israeli arsenal.

Until recently all American presidents since Dwight Eisenhower had striven to restrict and reduce nuclear arsenals -- some more than others. So far as I know, there are no present efforts by any of the nuclear powers to accomplish these crucial goals.

The United States is the major culprit in this erosion of the NPT. While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats in Iraq, Libya, Iran and North Korea, American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons, including anti-ballistic missiles, the earth-penetrating "bunker buster" and perhaps some new "small" bombs. They also have abandoned past pledges and now threaten first use of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states. . . .

Some corrective actions are obvious . . .


Mark Jensen, "Scott Ritter: U.S. Plans June Attack on Iran," United for Peace of Pierce County (WA), February 19, 2005

Gordon Prather, "Bye-Bye, NPT; Hello, Mushroom Cloud,", February 28, 2005

[Explaining Tehran's decision to bar the United Nations from some sensitive sites, a senior Iranian envoy told a 35-nation meeting Wednesday that his country fears leaked information the inspectors gather could help those planning a possible military strike.--"U.S., Iran Face Off Over Nukes," Associated Press, March 2, 2005]

[Iranian officials are quick to point out that before the 1979 Islamic revolution, which brought clerics to power, the United States firmly supported its ally the Shah's plans to build up to 23 atomic reactors by 1994.--Paul Hughes, "Iran's arguments for nuclear power make some sense," Reuters, March 5, 2005]

Richard Butler, "Heavily Armed Duo in No Position to Lay Down Law On Proliferation: Thwarting Iran's Nuclear Ambitions Would be Easier if the US and Israel Kept their Side of the Bargain," Sydney Morning Herald, March 8, 2005

Douglas Jehl and Eric Schmitt, "Data Is Lacking on Iran's Arms, U.S. Panel Says," New York Times, March 9, 2005

[. . . Tehran not only has agreed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it will permit inspections of sites suspected of housing weapons programs, but also that the sites shown in Sharon's photos have already been visited by IAEA inspectors, with nothing found. . . .

The plan of the neoconservatives in the Bush administration, who work closely with Sharon, instead, aim at changing the terms of the NPT when the countries that are party to the treaty will gather in New York City in May for the 1970 treaty's Seventh Review Conference. . . .

An American expert in nuclear weapons, Gordon Prather, says Bolton has deliberately confused "failure to fully comply with an IAEA Safeguards Agreement" with "violations" of the NPT. . . .

What Prather is saying is that many countries, including the US, have not fully complied with the safeguards regime, which actually preceded the NPT and which simply means that they were found to have done something that they were obliged to report to the IAEA and failed to do so, for example moving material from Building A to Building B.--Jude Wanniski, "Israel Guns for Iran," CounterPunch, April 23, 2005]

William J. Broad, "Bunker-buster bomb plan won't work, study finds," New York Times, April 28, 2005

Jimmy Carter, "Erosion of the Nonproliferation Treaty," International Herald Tribune, May 2, 2005

Gordon Prather, "Iranian Nuclear Power Crazy? Think Again,", May 30, 2005

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