Axis of rejection? U.S., Iran, North Korea snub nuclear test ban pact

September 25, 2008

Pakistan's nuclear-capable Hatf 4 (Shaheen-1) missile during a test launch 

There is a saying in English that people are judged by the company they keep. If this  applied to countries, the United States would not fare well when it comes to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Although Washington signed the pact, which would ban all nuclear tests if it ever comes into force, in 1996, U.S. lawmakers have never ratified it. Eight other countries with nuclear activities must ratify the treaty before it can enter into force.
Those other hold-out countries are China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and Pakistan. Two of those — Iran and North Korea — are members of a trio which U.S. President George W. Bush once referred to as the “axis of evil.”
Iraq, which was a member of Bush’s axis of evil until the U.S. invasion in 2003 toppled Saddam Hussein’s government, signed the treaty last month, though Iraqi parliament has yet to ratify it.
The treaty opened for signatures 12 years ago. Since then, 179 nations have signed and 144 ratified it. Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno Ugarte told a news conference on the  sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York that “these nine countries must not hold the international community at bay.” 
Ugarte was one of some 40 foreign ministers who issued a joint statement calling on the United States, Iran, North Korea and the rest to ratify the treaty. 
Even veteran Hollywood Actor Michael Douglas, a U.N. messenger of peace, appeared at the United Nations in support of the CTBT alongside former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and the Costa Rican, Australian and Austrian foreign ministers. 

Michael Douglas
When the United States signed the treaty in 1996, President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was in charge, but the then-Republican-majority U.S. Senate rejected it in 1999. When Bush took office in 2001 his administration made clear it did not want its options limited by such a treaty and never resubmitted it.  It has has, however, continued to observe the U.S. moratorium on nuclear testing that began in 1992.
Perry, who was in Clinton’s cabinet when Washington signed the CTBT in 1996, made it clear that he supports Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, who Perry expects will push the U.S. legislature to ratify the treaty if he becomes president. Even Republican candidate Sen. John McCain, Perry said, might make a U-turn from the Bush administration on this issue in an attempt to reingratiate Washington with allies overseas.
Some analysts have said that if the United States fails to ratifies the treaty, it will most likely die. 
What do you think? Should the next U.S. president push for ratification of the treaty banning all nuclear tests or would it be better to keep the door open to research on new and improved atomic weapons in the interest of keeping the United States and its allies safe?


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Iran has never tested a Nuke

Iran is a member of the NPT and has been subjected to more inspections than any other country in the world

The IAEA has had more inspections in Iran than any other country in the world

India, Israel and Pakistan are not NPT members
all have had no inspections by the IAEA
and all have tested Nukes

Posted by SAM | Report as abusive

What does Michael Douglas know about CTBT????

He should stick to ‘acting’! Please!!!

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

The U.S has too many enemies to put down her defense.If we are to remain free we must be ready at all times to defend ourselves. When we are perceived as weak we will be taken out. We should stop sending our U.S. dollars abroad. Wake Up AMERICA. Use those dollars for the most defensive weapons anyone can perceive. WE COULD USE THE 80 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR WE SPEND ON ANIMAL RESEARCH TORTURING THESE VOICELESS CREATURES, WITH THE SAME TERRORIZING NEEDLES AND KNIVES YEAR AFTER YEAR, FOR THE FEDERAL MONEY (TAXPAYERS)HARD EARNED MONEY… I WILL ADD……. Back to our defense… to negotiate with countries whose ideology states clearly, it is ok to lie, cheat, steal and kill to reach their ultimate goal. With that fact clearly stated what do you talk about??? Not being vigilant will lead to our own destruction.

Posted by sondra | Report as abusive

Tell us something we don’t know. As one of the contributors in this blog has proven, the cold was era dinosaurs in the US senate and the incompetence of the Bush administration are still following a double standard that is the main cause that countries resist ratifying this treaty. The US reserves the right to itself and its allies to not ratify the treaty and keep testing and at the same time indulges in saber rattling and botched military disasters at anyone else who isn’t, the excuse being that US and Co. are the ‘good’ guys and should be exempt from any such restrictions. How do you expect countries that regards the US as hostile such as Iran and North Korea to sign and ratify the treaty under these conditions? Iran doesn’t even have plutonium, and has never tested a nuclear device as a contributor pointed out, and the two nations that are trying to get the world to stampede over Iran’s program, the US and Israel, in fact have conducted such tests and are in possession of nuclear weapons and are making noises about a military strike. It’s farcical. The current US administration would be stupid enough to make similar threats to North Korea, the only thing that’s holding it back because North Korea unlike Iran actually has warheads, and its leader is crazy enough to retaliate by using them. If people want to know what is the biggest cause of the test ban’s failure, then they need to look no further than the US policy of fostering a nuclear club for the US and its allies while abusing the security council to serve its own ends than that of the common good.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

US should show the example and ratify the treaty and keep adding pressure on countries that does not agree with the treaty.

Posted by SD | Report as abusive

Of course we need to ratify the Test Ban Treaty. Talk of new bombs, such as “replacement warheads” is a boondoggle. The world is now far safer without nukes, which cost the US $52.4 billion each year.
Time to wake up and smell the coffee. Obama has done it– that’s why he won the Nobel Prize. We should follow his lead, and ratify all needed anti-nuclear treaties.
If more people knew we don’t need the bomb, we could save the taxpayers billions and use the money for schools, clean energy, and other things that actually create the jobs we need.

Posted by Atomed | Report as abusive