The Hypocrisy of Britain and France

(New Republic) Jeffrey Herf - * Two weeks ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted to refer Iran's nuclear program to the UN Security Council. At the insistence of Egypt, and with the backing of the EU, the text contains a clause calling for the creation of "a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery" - a pointed jab at the region's only nuclear power, Israel. * The American delegation tried unsuccessfully to block the clause, rightly fearing that it could be used as anti-Israel propaganda and would provide an excuse for Iran to sidestep its obligations in the future. * Between 1981 and 1983, the U.S. and the Soviet Union conducted Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force negotiations in Geneva. Throughout this time, Moscow insisted that the nuclear arsenals of Britain and France be included in the balance of forces to be discussed - a proposal that London and Paris adamantly opposed. * Aware that the slogan of a "nuclear-free Europe" might lead to demands for their unilateral nuclear disarmament, the British and French governments persistently rejected this Soviet negotiating ploy.

2006-02-16 00:00:00

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