It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.On 1 March 1985, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon David Lange (Previously) addressed the Oxford Union in support of the proposition that "Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible". That speech is online at publicaddress.net (audio, transcript, highlights) and still resonates today. [more inside]
On June 6th, Shahram Amiri - an Iranian nuclear scientist -- appeared on a YouTube video claiming he was abducted by US and Saudi authorities in Medina, drugged and flown to the US. On June 7th, a second video on Youtube appeared where he, or someone claiming to be him, said he was fine, studying in the US. (The U.S. government has no official comment but cited him as a source on Iran's nuclear program.) A 3rd video backed the first. Now Pakistan says Amiri is in hiding in its Washington embassy's Iranian interests section under asylum and making arrangements to get back to Iran. How he got there, and why, is a mystery. [more inside]
Tentative agreement reached with North Korea. The six-party talks in Beijing finally succeeded: under the agreement, North Korea will close its main nuclear reactor within 60 days, in exchange for food, fuel aid, and steps towards normal relations with the US and Japan. The deal still has to be approved by the six governments. Analysis from the New York Times. Background from Richard Bernstein in the New York Review of Books, and from the International Crisis Group. Previously.
Is Terrorists For Nukes the 2001 version of Arms For Hostages? President Bush has lifted the sanctions on India and Pakistan imposed by the U.S. in 1998 to protest their "tit-for-tat" nuclear tests. In a memorandum just released by the White House, he states that keeping those sanctions in place "would not be in the national security interests of the United States". Is this an acceptable exchange? Just how far should the U.S. go in appeasing Pakistan, not to mention further fuelling its already explosive confrontation with India?