07 April 2010
US President Barack Obama has presented a new doctrine that would limit the use of American nuclear weapons in case of a war. However, Obama said this would not apply to "outliers like Iran and North Korea.” The new policy, which Obama presented in an interview with the ‘New York Times’ ahead of a summit on nuclear proliferation and nuclear disarmament next week, is to apply strict conditions on when the United States would be able to use nuclear weapons. It would commit the country to avoid using nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear state that is in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if such a state attacked the US with non-conventional arms such as biological or chemical weapons.
Obama also plans to further cut the US nuclear arsenal and freeze development of new nuclear weapons. The idea behind the policy, called the Nuclear Posture Review, is to take a step toward making nuclear arms obsolete and remove the incentives for other states to pursue nuclear weapons programs, Obama told the newspaper.
“We are going to want to make sure that we can continue to move towards less emphasis on nuclear weapons,” the president said, to “make sure that our conventional weapons capability is an effective deterrent in all but the most extreme circumstances.” Obama stressed that treaty violators like Iran would not be subject to the new policy.
Meanwhile, it was announced that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take part in the 47-nation summit on nuclear security which Obama will host in Washington next week. Netanyahu is not expected to hold bilateral meetings with the US president during the summit. Obama has meetings scheduled with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and King Abdullah II of Jordan, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced. Chinese President Hu Jintao will also be present at the meeting.
The ‘Wall Street Journal’ reports that the draft communiqué of the summit calls for a global crackdown on the illicit trade of nuclear material, tougher criminal prosecution of traffickers, better accounting for weapons-grade nuclear materials and more international collaboration in such cases. The international community had to "effectively prevent and respond to incidents of illicit nuclear trafficking," the document states according to the newspaper.
Iran will hold a ‘counter-summit’ on nuclear disarmament in Tehran on 17/18 April at which the regime expects a “great participation”, according to reports in Iranian media. China, India, Syria, Venezuela and Turkmenistan had signaled that they might attend the meeting in Tehran, news agencies reported.
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