Nuclear reactions

Published: February 13, 2013

Last top-level meeting was hosted by Moscow in June. PHOTO: FILE.

The presence of Iran on the world’s list of nuclear states has been a sore point for years with the US and its allies. The argument runs that Iran is an ‘irresponsible’ state, given to making threatening comments directed against the US and countries closely affiliated with it. But does this argument really hold any weight, does it really make any sense? Also on a purely moral basis, why should certain nations be allowed to maintain huge arsenals of nuclear weapons, while others are rebuked for doing so? Is there any way of saying if Washington is really more responsible than Tehran? This cannot after all be a scientific measure, and in its time Washington has been guilty of many actions that would not be considered responsible.

The broader issue of nuclear weapons and their nature, of course, exists. It can, logically enough, be argued that these weapons are inherently immoral. Indeed, we just need to look at the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima at the end of World War II, or the lingering after-effects of the nuclear leak at the Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine in 1986, or the more recent one in Japan in 2011 to be persuaded of this. The images from these places remind us of just what nuclear weapons do; the kind of prolonged suffering they inflict. They should not be a part of our world.

But, of course, this rule should then be equitably applied. The same principle should hold true for every nation – whether or not it is a US ally. The singling out of Iran is simply a demonstration of bias, given the number of countries which hold nukes. The strategies used have, in fact, turned Iran into a pariah state, and this is possibly the most dangerous thing of all. More rationality needs to be shown when addressing the delicate matter of Iran’s nuclear weapons, and more equality demonstrated towards other nations – even while at a broader level a stronger global campaign is needed against all nuclear weapons, no matter which nation they belong to.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • John B
    Feb 13, 2013 - 1:36AM

    Obviously the editorial was written before N.Korea detonated nuke. I wonder what the editorial would be now on N.Korea.

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  • Logic
    Feb 13, 2013 - 3:00AM

    To this date we have only one country that has used a nuclear weapon in battle. It’s funny when the same nation acts as a preacher.

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  • Pops
    Feb 13, 2013 - 3:05AM

    Thanks to AQ Khan of Pakistan for selling the technology to North Korea.
    North Korea will now have a nuclear bomb.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 13, 2013 - 3:10AM

    @Johni Baba,
    i think live and let live and every one got right of defence too.

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  • Arindom
    Feb 13, 2013 - 3:52AM

    Is it that hard to realise? Here are the reasons for some countries being called “irresponsible” and hence are “pariah” or are “terrorist sponsors”:

    1) Countries that keep threatening others of Nuclear Wars at the drop of a hat: Example: Pakistan and Iran.

    2) Countries that oppress their own people and deny any freedom : Iran and N.Korea

    3) Countries that sponsor terorists ( “non-state” actors in Pakistani parlance) : Pakistan and Iran.

    Why do we keep coming back to the same 3 countries?

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  • Something Clever
    Feb 13, 2013 - 8:29AM

    “Also on a purely moral basis, why should certain nations be allowed to maintain huge arsenals of nuclear weapons, while others are rebuked for doing so? Is there any way of saying if Washington is really more responsible than Tehran?”
    It’s not about a double standard. Most countries are simply coming into it decades late. World opinions towards nukes aren’t the same as they were when most of the countries with a large amount nukes were creating that arsenal. The US is even intending to engage Russia in reducing the number of them they both have.
    Oh and yes, actually, Washington is a great deal more responsible than Tehran. Many countries are more responsible than Iran. It doesn’t take much for a country to be able to rightfully claim such a thing. Everything Iran does is reminiscent of an attention seeking brat trying to prove something to people who aren’t even listening. They’re even willing to sacrifice their populations for the ego of a few people. What makes that even worse is the fact that Iran has been bluffing, using the same kinds of bluffs, for so long that it doesn’t even get the desired results. If that’s not irresponsible when you have an entire country of people you’re supposed to be looking out for, I don’t know what is.

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  • John B
    Feb 13, 2013 - 10:04AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    You may not know this, but N.Korea has released a propaganda video wherein a citizen while sleeping is dreaming of sending rockets to destroy the Europe and the US with background music of “we are the world” song.

    While the grandiose illusion may be funny to watch, the intensions are clear. The young mind who are brain washed on such images will be the foot soldier in the army in ten years, a general in 20 years. In the US, no such threat goes unnoticed.

    Nukes are for big boys and it was for power plays in UN SC (not any more), no longer a deterrent or offensive weapon and are now for technology and N.Korea does not fit in any of these, and have no means to sustain it either.

    Let us also not forget who is behind N.Korea in all these mess.

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  • F
    Feb 13, 2013 - 5:28PM

    How is Iran bring discriminated against? Because it is a “Muslim” country! Is Iran a signatory to NPT? If it is, it has the right to process nuclear energy. Under the terms of the treaty, it must make its program transparent, however. Like Saddam Hussein before, Iran has refused to do so – for over a decade! By its actions it is clear that Iran has something to hide – it is pursuing the atom to weaponize it. That is the crux of the issue. Their rhetoric calling for the annihilation of Israel, support for crazy “strategic” outfits and open enmity with the USA amplify the concerns around the world.

    On a side note: many Pakistanis rejoice in an Islamic country obtaining nukes. Courtesy the “Islamic” hubris, critical know how was provided by Pakistan. Now it has another nuclear country at its neighbor!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 13, 2013 - 6:54PM

    @John B,
    So u think these toys are only belong to big bad boys and they allowed to do any thing with others u know i means.

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  • B
    Feb 13, 2013 - 11:58PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    This should be asked from China as they are also seeking no nukes to Iran.

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  • Kuva
    Feb 14, 2013 - 10:28PM

    @Arindom: You think you can fool others. Pakistan has never threatened to use nukes on others or wipe countries off the map; it has only maintained a policy of minimum deterrence to protect itself from any Indian aggression. Moreover, it is India has that has repeatedly rejected Pakistan’s offer to mutually scrap our nuclear arsenals.

    As for the US, that country has released officials military policy papers that include plans to use nuclear weapons on China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. America’s entertainment industry also gets off on showing enactments of the US nuking other countries.

    Stop blowing smoke in others’ eyes.

    Not surprised an American like John B shows such malevolent callousness in this discussion thread. Americans like him are exactly the reason why the United States is the first country that should be disarmed of its nuclear arsenal.

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  • G. Din
    Feb 17, 2013 - 5:57PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    “@John B,
    So u think these toys are only belong to big bad boys and they allowed to do any thing with others u know i means.”

    Read Arindom’s excellent comment!
    @Arindom:
    “Why do we keep coming back to the same 3 countries?”
    A very good reason to outlaw all three and subject them to a total boycott!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 18, 2013 - 1:30AM

    @Arindum
    Is it that hard to understand india dont wanna litsen to kashmiris and killing and raping there own citizen and its so called world democracy. and freedom of india is what ever u do with untouchables and poverty in india is more than africa one can see bombay and dehli shanti towns.

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