Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ahmadinejad And The Bomb

Our good friend Chad posed two great questions in response to my Ahmadinejad coverage, and I thought I'd respond here. For the initial questions, check out the comments on yesterday's post about Ahmadinejad's latest rant on Israel.

Sage's take:
The problem with Iran possessing nuclear weapons (apart from the lunacy of their leader) is that Iran is indeed party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This treaty, introduced in 1968, allows only those countries that possessed atomic weapons at the time to possess them in the future. Article VI of the treaty also proposes that NWSs (nuclear weapon states)gradually disarm under "a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." Good luck with that one, but the intentions are noble.

The NWSs are, of course, the US, Britain, France, Russia and China. These are also the permanent members of the UN Security Council for what that's worth.

Interestingly, NNPT makes provisions for the peaceful development of nuclear energy under the IEAE. If Ahmadinejad were serious about enriching uranium for energy only, why would the government have ended IEAE observations in Iran in February? If Iran is not pulling out of the NNPT (their top nuclear negotiator affirmed Tehran's commitment to the treaty this week), why the vagaries and subterfuge? The fact is that the NNPT, which Iran is a party to, already makes provisions for the kinds of things Iran says it wants. Tehran's endless opining about proper channels is meaningless as long as it continues to actually ignore them.

If Iran wants the bomb, Tehran should pull out of NNPT like North Korea did. That would make it harder for the international community to find grounds for legitimate, peaceful preemptive intervention. Iran won't do that, though. Instead, they'll continue playing games and giving lip service to their international commitments while pursuing their own course anyway. That's the real double standard.


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