NO FIRST STRIKE WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS
A Peaceful Solution to the Iran Crisis and a Nuclear Free Middle East
International Appeal of Members of Parliament and Non-Governmental Organizations
[For this international appeal, signatures of members of parliament and prominent representatives of civil society are being collected worldwide. To sign the appeal and see the signatories at the end of January 2006, click on
www.ippnw.de/index.php?/s.1,3,47,222/o,article,1309/. The appeal is translated from the German on the Attac Austria website on the World Wide Web, http://www.attac.at/2416.98.html.]
President Bush, president Ahmadinejad, presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and ambassadors,
The spread of nuclear weapons is probably the greatest threat to humanity. If the dreaded cascade-like proliferation occurs, the likelihood will increase considerably that nuclear weapons will be used some time or other out of malice, madness, misjudgment or failure. All states are responsible for ensuring that the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons does not increase further, that nuclear weapon-free states do not obtain any nuclear weapons and that nuclear weapons states destroy and abolish their weapons.
Threats and rumors about military actions or the use of nuclear weapons worsen the growing crisis between Iran, the US and Israel. Reports about the preparation and probing of military operations - however speculative they may be - are extremely disturbing and dangerous. These threats must stop. War must not be the theme.
However, war is the theme from the sides of the US and Israel. President Ahmadinejad, you urged "erasing Israel from the map." In the US and Israel, "hotheads" openly urge "fast military action" while "responsible" leaders say: "no option should be excluded." President Bush, we heard the same two threats once before - a few months before the invasion of Iraq. We demand the immediate end to threats of military or nuclear options and support the general director of the IAEA, Mohammed El-Baradei, in his urgent appeal to all involved parties to immediately end these warmongering rumors.
The US, other nuclear weapons states and de facto nuclear weapon states - states already in possession of nuclear weapons - have made little progress toward the internationally agreed goal of total destruction of nuclear weapons. Although there has been limited success in reducing the total nuclear weapon inventory, the established nuclear weapon states in their security doctrine still trust these weapons. A change in this attitude in the near future does not seem on the horizon.
This attitude continues despite the clear international consensus that nuclear weapons represent a continuous threat to humanity and life and despite the repeated demands of the international community for their total and unequivocal abolition.
States possessing massive nuclear arms caches cannot plausibly convince other states to destroy their nuclear weapons or abandon their striving to amass these weapons if they take no steps to destroy their own weapon stockpile. A worldwide confession to abolish nuclear weapons remains a worldwide confession and must be championed by all parties. No exceptions are possible. Those states that now possess nuclear weapons are obligated to destroy them. Those states without nuclear weapons may not strive to amass them.
The violation of the goal of a nuclear weapon-free Middle East by one side does not excuse the violation of this goal by another party. Conversely, the renunciation of one party on a nuclear option makes easier the renunciation of the other party.
Israel's nuclear weapons and the striving of Iran are dangerous and open the door for proliferation of nuclear weapons in other states of the Middle East and for a nuclear race in this region that would be extremely dangerous. This must not happen.
We are seriously worried that the nuclear doctrine of the US includes military measures against other states in which a first strike with nuclear weapons or the use of nuclear weapons against nuclear weapon-free states is not excluded. We note with approval the recently published letter of US Senators and others on this alarming fact.
A third use of nuclear weapons may never occur. This would be a catastrophe for Iran and Israel and a catastrophe for the whole region and the whole world on account of the radioactive radiation, the chaotic consequences and the breaking of the taboo on the use of nuclear weapons after 60 years. Breaking this taboo could mean that nuclear weapons will be used again and the barrier for this use lowered again and again. The use of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic for the world. We call all parties not to strive for nuclear weapons and to pursue a policy that excludes the use of nuclear weapons.
Members of parliament, civil society organizations and prominent persons have signed this letter and demand a solution to the crises between the US and Iran and between Israel and Iran. The imperative solution must be clearly based on the following principles:
· Rejection of all military options by all parties.
· A clear confession of all nuclear weapons states not to use nuclear weapons in the current situation and an unequivocal commitment to the doctrine of "no first strike with nuclear weapons."
· The conversion of the 1995 resolution on a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East passed in the framework of the non-proliferation treaty and conversion of the annual resolutions of the General Assembly on establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.
· A clear confession of all parties to the global destruction of nuclear weapons through confirmation of the final declaration of the conference on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in 2000 and of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly.
· A diplomatic solution for removing the tensions between the US, Israel and Iran including compromise on all sides, recognition of the legitimate security interests of Israel and Iran and renunciation on inflammatory or rabble-rousing speech and military options by all parties.