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Leader: No to nuclear weapons?

The fight against nuclear weapons is not the same as the fight against Iran.


[13. April 2007] In recent weeks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has gone high in his defense of Iran's nuclear program. Despite two calls from the UN Security Council, the country refuses to halt its ongoing enrichment of uranium. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre is worried about the development, and in a press release this week he joined the absolute demand that Iran stop the enrichment. At the same time, the minister emphasizes that "no one questions Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear power, and the country has been repeatedly offered international assistance for this".

Nobody wants Iran – or any other country – to extract nuclear weapons. Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It gives the country the right to develop nuclear power, but not nuclear weapons. A certain amount of enriched uranium is also needed to extract fuel for peaceful nuclear power. Ahmadinejad has always said that the country wants to abide by this agreement, but this week has threatened to withdraw from it if the UN continues to insist on ending the nuclear program. Now, two inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog are also in place in the country. They have not yet found evidence that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and believe the country is at least five years away from the possibility of technology.

Iran is surrounded by threats of nuclear attacks. They come from four fronts: The United States must have concrete plans for attacks on several targets, including Iran's disputed nuclear plant Natanz. Neighboring Israel, after all solar labels, has the same strength, proving with the attack on Iraq's nuclear power plant in 1982 that they are more than willing to go for such attacks. In addition, both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons. Therefore, whether the nuclear power plants are to be used for nuclear weapons or nuclear power, it is not strange if Iran wants to keep parts of the equipment hidden for fear of security.

Neither Israel, India nor Pakistan have signed the Non-Proliferation Agreement, but we hear little criticism from the Norwegian government against this. Neither does Major complain that both the United States and other Western countries regularly break the agreement. While the ruling nuclear powers continue to renew their nuclear weapons programs and in addition build rocket defenses in the US and Europe, there are reasons to fear the consequences this could have for the Non-Proliferation Agreement. Continued unreasonable pressure on Iran could have other consequences than we wish. When the country is treated differently than any other country, Ahmadinejad's arguments only get stronger.

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