Monday, January 19, 2009

NPT 123?

The New York Times op-ed page congratulates the UAE and the US on their farsighted nuclear deal:

The United Arab Emirates has bested other oil-rich Persian Gulf countries by becoming the first to conclude a legally binding nuclear cooperation agreement with the Bush administration. It deserves even greater congratulations for forswearing uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing. Those are the key processes for making fuel for nuclear reactors — or nuclear weapons.

With the NPT on life-support and the Bush Administration having spent the last 8 years trying to enforce it by playing whack-a-mole with rogue states (Iraq), buying them off (Libya) or hectoring them while they continue to race towards nuclear proliferation (North Korea, Iran), it's nice to see a better future out there, one in which all countries can have access to nuclear power but without the proliferation risk. Ultimately though, the NPT will only work when the nuclear powers start taking their responsibilities seriously: lowering their own stockpiles and removing the nuclear threat against nonnuclear states.

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