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NAM demands that Israel join the NPT without further delay

Mehr News Agency | September 29, 2012

TEHRAN – The 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement on Friday demanded that Israel join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without precondition and further delay.

The demand was made during the United Nations High Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism in New York. The demand was read out by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on behalf of the NAM bloc.

Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term on August 30.

Following is the text of Salehi’s speech:

Messrs. Co-chairs,

1. I am honored to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

2. The Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism reflects the success of multilateralism to which NAM attaches great importance. The movement values this opportunity to express its views on this subject of cotemporary interest.

3. NAM strongly and unequivocally condemns as criminal and rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism wherever, by whomever, against whomsoever committed, including those in which states are directly or indirectly involved, which are unjustifiable (no matter what) considerations or factors… may be invoked to justify them.

4. NAM expresses its satisfaction with the consensus among states on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. NAM welcomes the adoption by consensus of the General Assembly Resolution 66/50 entitled “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction” and underlines the need for this threat to humanity to be addressed within the UN framework and through international cooperation.

5. While stressing that the most effective way of preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction is through the total elimination of such weapons, NAM emphasizes that progress is urgently needed in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation in order to help maintain international peace and security and to contribute to the global efforts against terrorism.

6. NAM calls upon all UN member states to support international efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. It also urges all member states to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.

7. While noting the adoption of resolution 1540 (2004), resolution 1673 (2006), resolution 1810 (2008) and resolution 1977 (2011) by the Security Council, NAM underlines the need to ensure that any action by the Security Council does not undermine the UN Charter and existing multilateral treaties on weapons of mass destruction and of international Organizations established in this regard as well as the role of the General Assembly.

8. NAM further cautions against the continuing practice of the Security Council to utilize its authority to define the legislative requirements for member states in implementing Security Council decisions. In this regard, NAM stresses the importance of the issue of non-state actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction to be addressed in an inclusive manner by the General Assembly, taking into account the views of all member states.

Messrs. Co-chairs,

9. The NAM emphasizes the need to improve national, regional, and international preparedness and response to nuclear accidents and calls for a strengthened role of the IAEA in emergency preparedness and response, including through assisting member states, upon their request, on emergency preparedness and response to nuclear accidents, promoting capacity building, including education and training in the field of crisis management.

10. The NAM underlines that measures and initiatives aimed at strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear security must not be used as a pretext or leverage to violate, deny, or restrict the inalienable right of developing countries to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.

11. NAM affirms the need to strengthen the radiological safety and protection systems at facilities utilizing radioactive materials as well as at radioactive waste management facilities, including the safe transportation of these materials. The movement reaffirms the need to strengthen existing international regulations relating to safety and security of transportation of such materials.

12. The primary responsibility for nuclear safety and nuclear security rests with the individual states. In that sense, NAM underlines that the states with nuclear power programs have a central role in their own countries in ensuring the application of the highest standards. NAM also emphasizes that the IAEA is the sole intergovernmental organization within the UN system with the mandate and expertise to deal with the technical subjects of nuclear safety and nuclear security.

13. NAM reaffirms the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities – operational or under construction- constitutes a grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the UN Charter and regulations of the IAEA. NAM recognizes the urgent need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument prohibiting attacks or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Messrs. Co-chairs,

14. NAM stresses its concern at the threat to humanity posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons and of their possible use or threat of use. NAM reaffirms that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

15. NAM reaffirms its principled positions on nuclear disarmament, which remains its highest priority, and on the related issue of nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects. NAM stresses the importance that efforts aiming at nuclear non-proliferation should be parallel to simultaneous efforts aiming at nuclear disarmament.

16. NAM emphasizes that progress in nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects is essential to strengthening international peace and security.

17. NAM reiterates deep concern over the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament and the lack of progress by the Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS) to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals in accordance with their relevant multilateral legal obligations. The movement reaffirms the importance of the unanimous conclusion of the ICJ (International Court of Justice) that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control. In this regard, NAM underscores the urgent need to commence and to bring to a conclusion negotiations on comprehensive and complete nuclear disarmament without delay.

18. NAM reaffirms the importance of the application of the principles of transparency, irreversibility, and verifiability by the NWS in all measures related to the fulfillment of their nuclear disarmament obligations.

19. Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, NAM reaffirms the need for the conclusion of a universal, unconditional, and legally binding instrument on negative security assurances to all NNWS as a matter of high priority.

Messrs. Co-chairs,

20. NAM urges the UN Secretary General and the co-sponsors of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, in consultation with the states of the region, to exert utmost efforts in ensuring the success of the Conference to be convened in 2012, to be attended by all states of the Middle East on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. NAM stresses the need to avoid any further delay in convening this Conference.

21. NAM also demands (that) Israel, the only country in the region that has not joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor declared its intention to do so, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, to accede to the NPT without precondition and further delay, and to place promptly all its nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) full-scope safeguards.

22. NAM reiterates that the issues related to proliferation should be resolved through political and diplomatic means, and that measures and initiatives taken in this regard should be within the framework of international law, relevant conventions, and the UN Charter, and should contribute to the promotion of international peace, security, and stability.

23. Mindful of the threat posed to humankind by the existing weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and underlining the need for the total elimination of such weapons, the movement reaffirms the need to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction, and therefore supports the necessity of monitoring the situation and triggering international action as required.

24. Finally, on behalf of the movement, I express the hope that the secretary general will duly reflect these views in his summary of today’s proceedings as well as the views of member states. Any possible follow-up should be inclusive and member state driven.

Thank you, Messrs. Co-chairs.

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 11 Comments

US nuclear arsenal to undergo costliest-ever modernization process

Press TV – September 16, 2012

The United States is to treat its nuclear arsenal to the costliest modernization process ever, with the projected expenditure estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Washington Post reported the prospect of the wholesale overhaul on Saturday, saying the country’s 5,113-strong arsenal of nuclear warheads is to undergo an upgrade and maintenance process as part of the plan.

The paper added that the plan also includes renovation of aging nuclear facilities, and replacement of old delivery systems.

The daily withheld the figure on the price tag, but the Washington think-tank Stimson Center has estimated the cost at least $352 billion over the next decade. Others have said the figure could far exceed the amount.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I haven’t seen a moment like this,” said Thomas P. D’Agostino, who leads the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

The stockpile houses seven types of weapons, upgrading only the B61 thermonuclear bomb among is likely to cost $10 billion over five years, while Washington would have to lavish $110 billion to build 12 replacements for the aging Ohio-class submarines.

The country is, meanwhile, spending $162 million per airplane to build a nuclear-capable fleet of the F-35 strike aircraft to replace existing warplanes.

The US is the only country to have ever used atomic bombs against another nation.

The prospective overhaul flies in the face of the country’s persisting economic woes and the international calls for a nuclear-weapon-free world.

September 16, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on US nuclear arsenal to undergo costliest-ever modernization process

Loving the bomb: NATO to splurge billions on nuclear weapons overhaul

RT | May 11, 2012

The US is planning to spend $4 billion to upgrade NATO’s Western European nuclear arsenal. The “unnecessary and expensive” initiative is likely to stir new animosity with Russia, a report says.

­The alliance is preparing to replace “dumb” free-fall nuclear bombs with new generation of precision-guided nuclear gravity bombs, reveals a report by the European Leaders Network (ELN), a political think tank. The new bombs will also require new delivery aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35, each costing $100 million.

The report “Escalation by Default? The Future of NATO Nuclear Weapons in Europe” is authored by Ted Seay, a former arms control advisor to the US mission at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. It points to the fact that the upgrade will target such countries as Russia and Iran, who will be the most unlikely to be overjoyed with the prospect.

“This will increase NATO’s ability to reach targets in Russia with tactical nuclear weapons,” the paper reads. The initiative comes at a time when NATO and Russia are already “locked in a tense stand-off over missile defense.”

“This could alienate Russia in particular and worsen the prospects for further negotiations on non-strategic nuclear weapon reductions in Europe as a whole,” the report states.

A nuclear escalation “by default” would only harm security and safety prospects throughout Europe, and should be avoided, the paper concludes.

Commenting on the research, ELN chief Ian Kearns stressed to The Guardian that Washington’s plans for the upgrade are exorbitant.

“The planned upgrade of NATO’s tactical nuclear forces in Europe will be expensive and is unnecessary,” said Kearns. “NATO states are fully secure without this additional capability and should be focused on removing all tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, not on modernizing them.”

NATO currently possesses around 180 B61 free-fall tactical nuclear bombs stored at bases in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Turkey. The report states that they are increasingly regarded as obsolete.

In the meantime, a US interceptor successfully downed a ballistic missile as part of a military test in Hawaii, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency stated.

The Raytheon Co-Built Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Interceptor is a key component in the anti-missile defense (AMD) shields the United States is due to build in Poland, Romania and Turkey. The SM-3 Interceptor is to be deployed to Romania by 2015 and will also be used aboard ships equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis anti-missile combat system.

Russia has been calling for NATO to give legally-binding guarantees that its AMD system would not target Russia, thereby upsetting the global balance of power. NATO and the United States have so far refused to give such guarantees.

May 11, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Loving the bomb: NATO to splurge billions on nuclear weapons overhaul

US nuclear arms in Europe should now be removed: Senior expert

Press TV – April 19, 2012

A prominent international affairs expert says it is time for the United States to remove its tactical nuclear arsenal in Europe as the dangerous stockpiles “serve no legitimate strategic purpose.”

“[T]here is no good reason to keep them (the US tactical nuclear arsenal) there (Europe) and plenty of good reasons to remove them,” Stephen M. Walt wrote on the Foreign Policy website.

“It’s hard to imagine that these weapons are helping Dutch, German, or Turkish elites sleep soundly at night, or helping reassure their respective populations. If anything, local populations should worry about having these devices on their soil,” he added.

The senior international relations author described the situation as “rather ludicrous,” saying the theories that justified these weapons during the Cold War “never made sense” to him in the first place either.

“There is no threat of a conventional invasion of Western Europe, and thus no need to ‘link’ the US strategic deterrent to Europe’s defense via tactical weapons physically deployed on the continent,” he wrote.

Walt suggested that the US failure to discard the weapons will undermine the basic logic of nuclear disarmament, and threaten global efforts to “de-legitimize” nuclear weapons as status symbols, thereby dealing a blow to broader nuclear security objectives.

The persistence of the weapons, he added, will also question the pledges that the United States made when it signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Though there is no single agreed-upon definition of a tactical nuclear weapon, it is generally characterized by a lower yield and shorter range than a long-range (strategic) nuclear weapon. Tactical nuclear weapons are also sometimes referred to as battlefield nuclear weapons.

The US has not made public the number of its tactical nuclear weapons, but according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, the US is believed to deploy approximately 500 tactical nuclear warheads, including about 200 B61 gravity bombs deployed in five NATO states (Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the Netherlands).

The US also maintains approximately 700-800 additional tactical warheads in storage.

The original pretext offered by the US for deploying the tactical nuclear weapons in Europe was to deter a Soviet conventional attack on Western Europe.

US military leaders increasingly suggest that the European deployment serves no military purpose, and a growing group of NATO members, including host nations such as Germany and Belgium, have called for the removal of tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.

Given their small size and mobility, tactical nuclear weapons are also particularly vulnerable to loss or theft.

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 3 Comments