To Stop Nuclear Proliferation, Washington Must Lead by Example
Interview with Lorelei Kelly, director of the New Strategic Security Initiative project at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, conducted by Scott Harris
On Sept. 24, the United Nations will convene a two-day conference to discuss enforcement of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, or CTBT. The treaty prohibits all signatory nations from conducting nuclear weapons tests. President Barack Obama will chair the session, the first time a U.S. president has served in that role.
On April 5, President Obama made a speech in Prague where he declared that the U.S. had a moral responsibility to lead the effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, as America is the only nation ever to use them. While 149 of 181 nations have thus far ratified the Test Ban Treaty, the United States has not. Obama is now pushing the U.S. Senate to ratify the CTBT before the next nonproliferation meeting in May 2010. However, Republicans have been mostly united in their opposition, making the task of getting the required 67 votes for ratification difficult.
One of the most volatile issues in the effort to stop the spread of nuclear weapons is the accusation that Iran is covertly working to develop such arms. Iran, denying the charge, says it is producing enriched uranium in defiance of five U.N. Security Council resolutions, to develop civilian nuclear reactors to produce electricity. After many months of stalemate, Iran has agreed to begin talks on October 1st with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Lorelei Kelly, director of the New Strategic Security Initiative -- a project of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. She discusses the U.S. role at the CTBT conference and the Obama administration's strategy on dealing with Iran.
Contact the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation by calling (202) 546-0795 or visit their website at www.armscontrolcenter.org
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