Clinton, Ahmadinejad to face off at UN over nuclear nonproliferation
Secretary Clinton will declare the 40 year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty threatened by Iran and North Korea, while Iran's Ahmadinejad is expected to criticize world powers for failing at disarmament.
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“The atom bomb has become a tool for bullying, domination, and expansionism of some countries and governments,” he said.Skip to next paragraph
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The Clinton-Ahmadinejad faceoff has led some nuclear experts to conclude that a month-long treaty review conference, which already faced stiff odds against its accomplishing anything, now confronts an even rougher road.
“Ahmadinejad is going to pound the podium with his rant on the little guy’s rights, he’s going to tell all the other little guys in the audience that we [Iran] have done nothing wrong, that it’s the US that wants to keep you down – and suddenly it’s going to be very hard to keep everyone on the reservation,” says Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Education Center in Washington. “It will be tougher than ever to get anything done.”
US holds modest hopes for NPT review
Administration officials have painted a picture of a more-favorable-than-usual climate for the NPT review, citing Obama’s year-long focus on nuclear issues since his April 2009 speech in Prague, Czech Republic, and especially because of the new nuclear arms reduction accord Obama signed with Russia last month.
But they still warn “no guarantees” when asked about prospects for a substantive final declaration at the end of the conference May 28. They indicate the US will be happy if the four-week conference results in no more than an agenda for moving forward on nonproliferation, disarmament, and access to peaceful nuclear energy – the NPT’s so-called three pillars.
“It is not about a final communiqué or a product that comes out other than an ambition to move forward together,” said Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary for arms control and international security, in briefing reporters Friday on the NPT review. “We’re serious about this [conference], but we’re also sanguine and have our eyes wide open about it.”
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