Today marks the 70th anniversary of the U.S. nuking Hiroshima. [Hiroshima marks atomic bombing, worries about steps toward war]
On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing tens of thousands of people – many instantly, others from the effects of radiation. Death estimates range from 66,000 to 150,000. See here.
Americans’ support for dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima has been falling, from 85% in 1945 to 56% today. Still a majority! And nearly half of the Israeli public (47%) support a unilateral strike on Iran to prevent it from obtaining an atomic bomb. Oh dear!
Top of the news in 2015 is the Iran nuclear agreement. Have you read it? I haven’t but here’s a 5-page fact sheet to review.
Based on the summary, and the comments I’ve heard from President Obama and Secretary Kerry, I hope Congress will support the agreement with Iran.
We all know Netanyahu opposes it. He hasn’t been shy about taking his campaign directly to Congress on social media (like the video below) and TV ads. The vote will come down to the Jewish Democrats who must be feeling pressure from all sides.
Shortly after signing the agreement, Iran challenged the State of Israel to dismantle it’s undeclared nuclear program. Here’s an excerpt of the challenge published in The Guardian. I find it more persuasive than Netanyahu’s fear-mongering. A secure future requires a nuclear free future. The agreement with Iran is an opportunity to move in the right direction.
We – Iran and its interlocutors in the group of nations known as the P5+1 – have finally achieved the shared objective of turning the Iranian nuclear programme from an unnecessary crisis into a platform for cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and beyond. The nuclear deal reached in Vienna this month is not a ceiling but a solid foundation on which we must build. The joint comprehensive plan of action, as the accord is officially known, cements Iran’s status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. Now it is high time that we expand that zone to encompass the entire Middle East.
Iran’s push for a ban on weapons of mass destruction in its regional neighbourhood has been consistent. The fact that it precedes Saddam Hussein’s systematic use of WMDs against Iran (never reciprocated in kind) is evidence of the depth of my country’s commitment to this noble cause. And while Iran has received the support of some of its Arab friends in this endeavour, Israel – home to the Middle East’s only nuclear weapons programme – has been the holdout. In the light of the historic nuclear deal, we must address this challenge head on.
It is time for the “haves” to finally come to terms with a crucial reality; we live in a globalised security environment. The cold war era asymmetry between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that don’t is no longer remotely tolerable.
For too long, it has been assumed that the insane concept of mutually assured destruction would sustain stability and non-proliferation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The prevalence of this deterrence doctrine in international relations has been the primary driving force behind the temptation by some countries to acquire nuclear weapons, and by others to engage in expanding and beefing up the strength of their nuclear arsenals. All this in blatant violation of the disarmament objectives set by the international community.
It is imperative that we change this dangerous and erroneous security paradigm and move toward a better, safer and fairer arrangement. I sincerely believe that the nuclear agreement between my country – a non-nuclear-weapon state – and the P5+1 (which control almost all nuclear warheads on Earth) is symbolically significant enough to kickstart this paradigm shift and mark the beginning of a new era for the non-proliferation regime.
Iran, in its national capacity and as current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, is prepared to work with the international community to achieve these goals, knowing full well that, along the way, it will probably run into many hurdles raised by the sceptics of peace and diplomacy. But we must endeavour to convince and persist, as we did in Vienna.