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

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery Nurse jobs in South Glouc...

English Teacher needed for long term cover

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay TBA: Randstad Education Reading...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special needs assistants Jobs i...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery nurse jobs in Chippenham...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The colours of autumn leaves are among the many pleasures of the coming season  

In Sickness and in Health: As autumn arrives, more of us should wear high-vis clothes

Rebecca Armstrong
 

Daily catch-up: Scottish polls, canvass returns and arguments. And Top 10 Tweets

John Rentoul
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week