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Abdi Sami Maciej Dakowicz
Where are we on the way
to nuclear abolition?
David C Hall MD
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
with special thanks to Jill Parillo, national PSR staff expert on Iran
As a child and family psychiatrist I want a sustainably healthy world for all generations
The gravest threats to this future include nuclear devastation, perpetual war and catastrophic climate change
To achieve this peace we need to reverse global warming, abolish nuclear weapons, and create local energy economies that eliminate poverty
This requires a working non-proliferation regime now and carbon-free, nuclear-free energy soon
These treaties aim to rid entire regions of nuclear weapons and shrink the geographical space in which they can play a role. These zones of safety and security also build cooperation and trust amongst peoples and nations.
WPSR July 2007
Iran is already nuclear capable with contracts with Russia.
As with North Korea, if pressed it can exit the NPT and proceed with building nuclear weapons
Evidence from 2003 used to confront Iran
A. We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program1; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons. We judge with high confidence that the halt, and Tehran’s announcement of its decision to suspend its declared uranium enrichment program and sign an Additional Protocol to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure resulting from exposure of Iran’s previously undeclared nuclear work.
• We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.
• We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years. (Because of intelligence gaps discussed elsewhere in this Estimate, however, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons program.)
• We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.
• We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.
• Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.
America has made "terrible mistakes" in
Iraq. The consequences of failure there
would be "catastrophic". The whole region,
he says, would slide into "Muslim extremism".
The US, he says, is paying a price for its mistakes in Iraq in its inability to deal with the nuclear threat from Iran. Military action must always be the last option, but he warns: "There is only one scenario worse than military action in Iran and that is a nuclear-armed Iran."
"By keeping our commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we’ll be in a better position to press nations like North Korea and Iran to keep theirs. In particular, it will give us more credibility and leverage in dealing with Iran.
"We cannot tolerate nuclear weapons in the hands of nations that support terror. Preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a vital national security interest of the United States. No tool of statecraft should be taken off the table… I will use all elements of American power to pressure the Iranian regime, starting with aggressive, principled and direct diplomacy – diplomacy backed with strong sanctions and without preconditions.
“Let me get right to the point of today’s hearing and let me be in my view, as a result of the policies this administration has pursued, Iran, not freedom, has been on the march in the Middle East. Iran’s influence has grown in Iraq. Its proxy Hezbollah is ascendant in Lebanon. Its ally Hamas dominates Gaza. It is testing
intermediate range missiles. And Iran is getting closer to a nuclear weapons capacity by mastering the process of uranium enrichment.
“The issue is not whether Iran presents a real security challenge. It does. The question is whether we have a realistic view of that challenge -- and a coherent policy to deal with it. Iran is not ten feet tall. It is not the Soviet Union at the height of its power. Despite is large oil reserves it faces serious economic problems – including high inflation and unemployment. It has very few friends and its people chafe under social and political repression. It spends about $7 billion on defense every year – about what we spend in Iraq every two weeks. “But Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon would dramatically destabilize an already unstable region and probably fuel a nuclear arms race in the region. It is profoundly in our interest to prevent that from happening. “Our choices are straightforward. We either engage, maintain the status quo, or use some sort of military force. “If we don’t engage, we're stuck with a Hobson’s choice between an ineffectual policy that allows our partners but not the United States to engage Iran on its nuclear program… and military strikes that could quickly spiral out of control.
· The United States has dismantled more than 13,000 nuclear weapons since 1988.· When the START Treaty was signed in 1991, the United States and Russia each had deployed over 10,000 strategic warheads. Both reduced this level to below 6,000 by December 2001.· United States and Russian operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads will be reduced further to 1,700-2,200 by December 31, 2012, as agreed by Presidents Bush and Putin and codified in the 2002 Moscow Treaty.
· In May 2004, President Bush approved a plan that will cut the stockpile by almost one-half from the 2001 level. By the end of 2012, the United States stockpile will be the smallest that it has been in several decades. These represent reductions by nearly a factor of four since the end of the Cold War.· In total, United States non-strategic nuclear weapons in NATO have been reduced by nearly ninety percent (90%) since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The United States had adopted its Nuclear Posture Review, incorporating the breach of the obligations on “irreversibility”, “diminished role of nuclear weapons” and “lowering the operational status of nuclear weapons” by stressing the essential role of nuclear weapons as an effective tool for achieving security ends and foreign policy objectives; developing new nuclear weapon systems, and constructing new facilities for producing nuclear weapons; resuming efforts to develop and deploy tactical nuclear weapons, despite the commitment to reverse the process and reduce them; and targeting non-nuclear weapon States parties to the Treaty and planning to attack those States.
- Summary of statement by Ambassador Javad Zarif
"I have always maintained that if we were to move forward toward strengthening non-proliferation to reduce the nuclear weapons arsenal, toward moving to a world free from nuclear weapons, that dialogue has to be universal and inclusive. We cannot exclude from that debate India or Pakistan or Israel - the three countries who remain outside the NPT. These represent 20% of the world´s population and they have to be included.”
Martin Luther King Jr Day at the Bangor Submarine Main Gate
Rev. Bill Bichsel called to civil resistance
Despite health problems, Tacoma activist the Rev. Bill Bichsel has an undimmed passion for people in need – and for peace
-- Tacoma News Tribune 8-24-2008
A Joint Project of theNuclear Policy Research Institute
and theInstitute for Energy and Environmental Research
IEER Press and RDR Books, 2007257 pages, paperback