News Release

Nuclear Obligations: Iran and the United States

A long-awaited review conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) got underway at the United Nations today, with the talks scheduled to last until May 27. The NPT treaty obliges existing nuclear powers to dismantle their arsenals and non-nuclear powers to refrain from obtaining nuclear weapons.

ROSS POURZAL
A Washington-based political analyst who is on the board of the Alliance of Progressive Iranians, Pourzal said today: “The United States is in breach of NPT and Iran is not. I am personally against nuclear power and nuclear weapons; however, I advocate an even-handed approach. Iran is definitely within its rights by any measure to take advantage of nuclear technology. And Iran has offered repeatedly to give safeguards and assurances for the world that need to be negotiated. These offers have not been taken up. … In the meantime, the Bush administration is developing new nuclear weapons.”

SIMIN ROYANIAN
An economist and co-founder of Women for Peace and Justice in Iran, Royanian said today: “What we need is the equal implementation of international law, and an understanding for the fact that one government does not have the right to interfere in the internal decision-making of another government. Whether Iranians want to have nuclear energy or not is a discussion for the people of Iran themselves. … Iran is a signatory to the NPT while North Korea, when faced with threats from the U.S., announced its withdrawal from the treaty and has made no secret of its plan to develop nuclear weapons.”
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ANNE MILLER
Miller, who has just returned from a 10-day trip to Iran, is currently in New York. She met with a cross-section of Iranian society. Only 500 Americans a year go to Iran. Miller, the director of New Hampshire Peace Action, said today: “Every Iranian with whom I spoke had generous words for our country, if not our administration. The Iranian people unequivocally want peace, not war. … We need to accept this fact about the Iranian regime: If it wants nuclear weapons, it will eventually acquire them. … We need to turn to the root causes of proliferation. For Iran, it is clearly a rationale of deterrence — deterrence against the threats of the U.S. and Israel, and because countries with nuclear weapons have a higher status internationally and are less likely to be invaded. The people do not understand why they should not have nuclear weapons if Israel and Pakistan can — the idea that they should be denied simply makes no sense to them.” Miller added: “If we are serious about curbing proliferation in Iran, we need a new strategy. … Our government must reassure Iran in word and deed that Iran’s national security is not threatened by the U.S. or Israel.”

KEVIN MARTIN
Martin is the executive director of Peace Action. He said today: “Peace activists around the world have gathered here in New York to demand that the U.S. and the other nuclear powers fulfill their obligations under the NPT and move towards disarmament.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167