Letter : Obstacles to extending the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Share
From Mrs Elizabeth Young

Sir: Michael Sheridan quotes the director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency as saying that, "A number of countries are attracted to the self-defeating idea that the Non-Proliferation Treaty should be held hostage [to various conditions]." ("Third World challenge to nuclear treaty", 20 February). The "conditions" include the completion of the test ban and a halt to the production and stockpiling of fissile material.

These are precisely the conditions the non-nuclear-weapon states have been requiring from the nuclear-weapon states since 1968, when the US and the Soviet Union insisted the treaty remain "naked", or free of nuclear- weapon state commitments. There is nothing "self-defeating" about these "conditions": on the contrary, it would be a pity to repeat in 1995 the insufficiencies of the 1968 text.

The US today still wants the treaty "naked". Indeed, it now wants its article IV flouted, specifically in the case of Iran. The first paragraph of that article states that

Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II.

A second paragraph requires all parties to cooperate in developing the benefits of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes "especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon states party to the Treaty". Nowhere in the treaty are the "Western" intelligence services (in this case, the CIA and Mossad) given authority, as the US seems to be suggesting, to revise this "inalienable right" of a signatory that the IAEA has not found to be in breach of its undertakings. Iran has not been so found.

On the other hand, the US itself does seem to be in serious breach of Article I. By its long-standing acceptance and collaboration, it has surely not only "encouraged", but actively "assisted" Israel's acquisition and control of nuclear weapons. This the Treaty absolutely forbids.

For the Non-Proliferation Treaty to be indefinitely extended in April this year, while Israel continues to hold a substantial nuclear weapons capability, generously funded by the US, and continues to threaten to take out its neighbours' civil nuclear facilities, would give the wrong message: namely, that proliferation and non-proliferation are what the US, not what the Non-Proliferation Treaty, says they are.

Yours faithfully,

ELIZABETH YOUNG

London, W2

21 February

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?