ALICE SLATER [email]
Slater is the New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and is on the coordinating committee of Abolition 2000, a nuclear disarmament network. She said today: “The Non-Aligned Movement, formed in 1961 during the Cold War, is a group of 120 states and 17 observer states not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The NAM just held its opening 2012 session under the new chairmanship of Iran, which succeeded Egypt as the chair.
“Significantly, an Associated Press article in the Washington Post headlined, ‘Iran Opens Nonaligned Summit with Calls for Nuclear Arms Ban’ reported that ‘Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi opened the gathering by noting commitment to a previous goal from the nonaligned group, known as NAM, to remove the world’s nuclear arsenals within 13 years. “We believe that the timetable for ultimate removal of nuclear weapons by 2025, which was proposed by NAM, will only be realized if we follow it up decisively,” he told delegates.’
“Yet The New York Times, which has been beating the drums for war with Iran, just as it played a disgraceful role in the deceptive reporting during the lead-up to the Iraq war, never mentioned Iran’s proposal for nuclear abolition. The Times carried the bland headline on its front page, ‘At Summit Meeting, Iran Has a Message for the World,’ and then went on to state, ‘the message is clear. As Iran plays host to the biggest international conference … it wants to tell its side of the long standoff with the Western powers which are increasingly convinced that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons,’ without ever reporting Iran’s offer to support the NAM proposal for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2025.
“Surely the most sensible way to deal with Iran’s nascent nuclear weapons capacity is to call all the nations to the table to negotiate a treaty to ban the bomb. That would mean abolishing the 20,000 nuclear bombs on the planet — in the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — with 19,000 of them in the U.S. and Russia. In order to get Russia and China to the table, the U.S. will also have to give up its dreams of dominating the earth with missile defenses which it is currently ringing around Russia and China. The ball is in the court of the U.S. That would be the only principled way to deal with fears of nuclear proliferation. Start with a genuine offer for negotiations to finally ban the bomb in all countries, not just in Iran and North Korea.”
The New York Times: “At Summit Meeting, Iran Has a Message for the World”