It beggars belief that the U.S. and U.K. should conduct a joint subcritical nuclear test while tense negotiations to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons were ongoing. Yet, this is exactly what they did, in Nevada, on 23 February last.
Due to a loophole in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a subcritical nuclear test is just within the legal limits of a "moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions" as no explosion is produced. However, such a test clearly indicates that the U.S. and U.K. are checking their existing nuclear stockpiles and are very likely developing a new generation of nuclear weapons.
The U.S. and U.K. cannot credibly even attempt to arrest proliferation in third countries if they do not honour their "unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals" as agreed at the NPT review conference in 2000.
The NPT is crucial to nuclear disarmament and the global desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Undermining the Treaty with double standards can only provoke anger, fear, 'terrorism' and a determination to possess nuclear weapons.
17 March 2006
Back to Irish CND page on nuclear testing