Dubai Bahrain 5-6 March 2013
Talking points by Hans Blix
NPT in danger
Hans Blix: Current problems of non-proliferation
Presentations under the auspices of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
Talking points (as used)
Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT,)1970) might be said to aim for a Nuclear Weapon (NW) free world
Non-Nuclear Weapon (NNW)states parties promise to stay away from Nuclear Weapon
Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) parties promise to negotiate to do away with Nuclear Weapons
Poor results on both counts. Worse on disarmament than on stopping a spread.
First on poor nuclear disarmament
During peak of Cold War 50 000 + NW – most in US & USSR
After Cold War reduced to 20.000 + still most in US & Russia
In 2007 four US former statesmen argued NW were obsolete between US/Russia and obsolescent for others. Urged US/Russia
begin the move out of nuclear era or risk that more states – or terrorists — would join. If NW were deemed indispensable to NWS
others would come along…
Obama (and McCain) agreed: Prague speech, London. Result:
NPT review 2010 consensus, including Resolution on Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), START
START reduction agreed level: 1550 deployed strategic NW.
Since 2010 Disarmament stagnating. Missiles in Europe.
Rearmament in Russia, China, Asia.
Financial crisis is focus. Disarmament no visibility. Not even Envi.
New Obama effort 2013. START follow-up. Parallel action?2
Outlook? Gloomy. Hope US/Russia agree to 1000 NW deployed?
China, UK and France?… CTBT, FMCT, NATO (200)?
Strange: what drives rearmament? A pot of 1.800 b $ to skim!
No big bones of contention between the P5. No WW III!
Three flashpoints: Taiwan, Indo-Sino border, Kashmir
US – China potential tensions – but about what?
Regional conflicts: Yes, Africa, Mid East. Will not cause WW III
Secondly, on the risk of a spread of NW to further countries.
The NPT took account of 5 NWS. Ambition was: no more!
Well, India, Israel and Pakistan did not join and became NWS
North Korea withdrew and developed NW
But Ukraine, Byelorussia & Kazakhstan joined + South Africa
Iraq and Libya tried develop NW but were stopped
Today worries about North Korea and Iran.
Less about terrorist organizations. Can hardly make or deliver?
The DPRK and IRAN are very different but some common points
They present threats of NW (and missiles) to others near and far.
Risk of domino effect. DPRK: RoK. Japan.
Iran: Saudi. Egypt.
As in most cases, perceived security may be part of NW interest
Need convince Iran & DPRK they do not need NW for security.
Economic Sanctions, aid and isolation have not helped. Threats even less.
Current evolution – risks pushing RoK and Japan to NW. Tensions!
Strengthened China interest in denuclearizing North Korea. How?
Despite terrible HR sit, no one wants sudden Northern collapse and
o China wants a buffer. No US ally at Yalu river!
o Japan does not want an even more formidable competitor (65m)
o RoK – a too costly affair. Cf. Germany. Wants slow motion.
Speculative approach: A regional security arrangement between Beijing
6 – (2 Koreas, Japan and P 3= 6)
North Korea is fixated on US ‘hostility’. (Korean war)
Hence: Offer peace treaty & diplomatic relations + economic aid3
(Assumes the military do not feel they must have tension to rule?)
China, US, Russia would guarantee inviolability of borders
No regime change but improved HR demanded of DPRK
North and South Korea would agree to be denuclearized – as in 1992. Neither enrichment nor reprocess. + inspection. Assurance of supply of low enriched nuclear fuel for power reactors
Japan remains without nuclear weapons.
Some people now say: it is either Iranian bomb or bombing Iran!
War perspective: disaster. Iran will counter attack. Conflagration?
Legal objection: War would violate UN Charter. Cf Iraq.
Would not be self-defense against Iranian aggression
There would be no authorization by the UN Security Council.
In the case of Iraq — eliminate wmd! – that did not exist…
In the case of Iran – eliminate intentions! – that may not exist…
Iran is getting ever closer to a weapon option. Yes. But no decision
Fuse remains short so long as enrichment (and Pu prod) continues
Danger of war and tension need be reduced. How?
First approach – E3 – carrots – suspend enrichment and you get
support to get into WTO, nuclear reactors, investment etc
Second approach (with US in back-seat) – adds sticks (SC sanctions)
(Sanctions satisfy the need to look active. Can also have impact…)
Yes, diplomacy can be strengthened by pressures brought under sanctions – but negotiations can also be undermined.
If pressures are too strong= humiliation and breed defiance.
It may be harder to subdue proud states than men.
Third approach – only sticks (oil embargo) + cyber attacks etc.
2012 brought much pain. Lost oil revenues.
Fourth approach: (Alma Ata) some retreat. Search f modus vivendi?
As far as can be gathered from media:
Not given up aim to stop all enrichment and Pu etc. but
Dropping objection to Iran using own 20 % U needed for Triga 4
Dropping ban on Iran getting gold — for what? Not explained.
Dropping demand to close Fordow — only durably suspend…
No change in oil & gas boycott…
Iran no answer yet. Technical meeting mid March. Alma Ata meeting April…
Iran possible response? Could declare it has enough 20 % and
intends to produce no more for a long time
will continue to let IAEA verify this
gives no guarantees for the future
demands more sanction relief than offered
Modus vivendi would be most welcome, but would not remove tensions.
Still risk of break out and domino effects. Israel dissatisfied.
In a follow up to modus vivendi: Any chance of persuading
Iran to forego enrichment etc.?
Not if Iran seeks weapon or insists to be like Japan…BUT (speculation):
Iran does not need self sufficiency in enriched nuclear fuel. One npp.
Assurance of supply from outside could be given. Cf South Korea
After Iraq war – Iran does not need nuclear weapons f security
(But Iran needs respect and cannot accept humiliation).
Israel is worried about anyone in the region getting closer to nuclear
weapon – whether by building res reactors or enrich or other
(Osirak 1981. Syria 2007. Iran 2012…Sustainable strategy? )
Israel COULD achieve removal of all perceived nuclear dangers
by doing away with its own NW within a ZONE free of nuclear and other wmd.
A Helsinki December meeting regarding zone was nixed by US
(Israel wanted spotlight on Iran enrichment, not on Israeli weapons)
Let it be held! Of interest to all, including Israel.
A regional accord:
All states of the region including Israel & Iran (but not Pakistan) would agree to have no nuclear weapons no stocks of fissile material no enrichment plants or other installations for the production of fissile material
BUT stiff inspection (incl. bilateral…)5
Parties regional agreement free to do so although NPT allows E and Pu.
For Israel – painful sacrifice NW and their mystique, but
would get assurances not only about Iran but about all.
For Iran — painful sacrifice of investments but not only free from sanctions etc., but would get credit for bringing about end of
Israeli weapons and helping global disarmament.
For all in the region – rectifying unfairness they feel was created by Israel not joining the NPT but developing NW
(and perhaps a possibility one day to create a MidEastAtom…)
For Obama and the world – contribute security guarantees but getting significant disarmament.
If zone cannot be achieved (would take time) all will have to live with modus vivendi.