Saturday, October 13, 2007

Derailing a deal

Khaleej Times

BY NOAM CHOMSKY

7 October 2007

NUCLEAR-armed states are criminal states. They have a legal obligation, confirmed by the World Court, to live up to Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which calls on them to carry out good-faith negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely. None of the nuclear states has lived up to it.

The United States is a leading violator, especially the Bush administration, which even has stated that it isn't subject to Article 6.

On July 27, Washington entered into an agreement with India that guts the central part of the NPT, though there remains substantial opposition in both countries. India, like Israel and Pakistan (but unlike Iran), is not an NPT signatory, and has developed nuclear weapons outside the treaty. With this new agreement, the Bush administration effectively endorses and facilitates this outlaw behaviour. The agreement violates US law, and bypasses the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the 45 nations that have established strict rules to lessen the danger of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, observes that the agreement doesn't bar further Indian nuclear testing and, "incredibly, ... commits Washington to help New Delhi secure fuel supplies from other countries even if India resumes testing." It also permits India to "free up its limited domestic supplies for bomb production." All these steps are in direct violation of international nonproliferation agreements.

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