Thursday, April 29, 2010
Iran, Egypt Line Up Against US, Allies at UN Nuke Meeting
Hana Levi Julian
Iran and Egypt are lining up to fight the United States and its allies over Israel at the upcoming United Nations meeting on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has requested a visa to enter the U.S. to attend the meeting, which begins Monday in New York, but it is not yet clear whether the State Department will approve his application. The Iranian leader is hoping to lead a fight to force Israel to sign the treaty and thereby admit to possessing nuclear weapons – something the Jewish State has never confirmed or denied, but which is widely assumed to be true.
Israel will not participate in the conference, nor will India or Pakistan, who also are not signatories to the treaty.
If Ahmadinejad is granted the visa, he will face U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who heads the American delegation on nuclear non-proliferation.
The treaty, first signed in 1970, calls on those who possess nuclear warheads to abandon them, and is intended to stop the further spread of atomic weapons. Every five years the 189 signatories to the pact gather to review current compliance with its mandate, as well as the progress made towards its worldwide goals.
In 2005, neither objective was reached due to ongoing debates between Iran, the U.S. and Egypt.
The treaty has thus far failed to stop Iran from proceeding with its rush towards nuclear capability, despite a current mandate from the U.N. Security Council ordering the Islamic Republic to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. Nor has it stopped North Korea from building a nuclear weapon, or blocked a Pakistani-led illicit nuclear supply network from providing materials to those who can meet the price.
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, including the U.S., Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany are already in New York working to draft a resolution on a new set of sanctions aimed at slowing down, if not stopping, Iran from continuing with its nuclear technology development. But the Council is far from united on the issue, as Russia and China continue to balk at the idea of imposing harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic to stop its nuclear development, despite the growing threat to the nations of the world that is becoming clearer as time passes.
Russia has many investments in Iran, not the least of which is a nuclear plant of its own; China has numerous trade agreements, including several involving petroleum products.
By next week, the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council again changes hands, and for the next six months, Lebanon will be its new leader. The Lebanese government includes numerous representatives from the Hizbullah terrorist organization, which is patronized by Iran both through generous funding and shipments of arms.