Concern over Iran’s possible nuclear weapons ambitions has led to sanctions that hurt the economy and the people of Iran (rather than the government). These are the very people the U.S. wants on our side in promoting reform, democracy and human rights inside Iran, and better U.S.-Iranian relations.
Instead of escalating ever-harsher economic sanctions or worse — threatening military attack on Iran — the U.S. and other nations should prioritize negotiations and diplomacy with Iran. A major part of the solution to tensions over Iran’s nuclear program should be establishing a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East, a proposal that has been around for more than three decades. Nuclear Weapons Free Zones already exist and have stemmed nuclear proloferation in South America, Africa, Central Asia, Antarctica, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.
Currently, Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the region, a fact it does not officially acknowledge though it is estimated to have between 200 and 400 nuclear weapons. Every country in the region except Israel is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, many countries in the region certainly have the capacity to develop or obtain nuclear weapons, which could spell disaster in one of the most conflict-prone areas of the world.
In May, 2010, the final declaration of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations called for negotiations on a Middle East Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone to be held in 2012. Peace Action will work with peace movement allies around the world in support of this real, practical, positive solution to the concern of a nuclear arms build-up in the Middle East.
Click on the link below for a statement Peace Action issued in favor of the establishment of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone from 2006.
For more on this story, visit: Peace Action Supports A Middle East Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone | Peace Action.