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Military Action Cannot Prevent Nuclear Proliferation

PSR Letterhead 


MILITARY ACTION CANNOT PREVENT NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION

 

February 15, 2012

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) strongly opposes all military action against Iran’s nuclear program. Attacking Iranian facilities is illegal under international law, will cause widespread devastation, increase the risk of nuclear proliferation, and halt the chances for peace in the region.
                       
PSR urges all nations, and the United States and Israel in particular, to refrain from launching military strikes against Iran, and to work with the international community to resolve, through the many diplomatic and nonviolent pathways that still remain open, the concerns that Iran may be developing a nuclear weapons capability.
                       
PSR also calls upon Iran to reestablish full and transparent relations with the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), and to provide IAEA inspectors with the comprehensive access and information they need to assure the international community that Iran is in compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is not engaged in weapons development activities.
                       
The human cost of a military strike on Iranian facilities would be enormous including potentially significant releases of radioactivity. It would likely plunge the entire Middle East into further chaos and violence, disrupting public health services and putting many more civilians at risk.  It would almost certainly provoke violent retaliation and would threaten regional and inter-national peace and security. Such a conflict could escalate into a regional war, and could ultimately lead to the use of nuclear weapons, the very thing the entire world most needs to prevent.

An attack on Iran would solidify power in the current government, devastate the local democracy movement and would support a movement to nuclear weapons production.

The U.S. must engage Iran diplomatically and help create a more stable and peaceful Middle East region. Threats of sanctions and military confrontation will further isolate Iran and increase threats to U.S. interests in the region. We’ve seen this familiar pattern before and we know that beating the war drums will not bring peace, but instead makes a violent conflict much more likely.  There is no military solution to the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation anywhere in the world, particularly in the Middle East.
                       
PSR supports regional and international efforts to negotiate a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Free Middle East, and urges all States in the region, including Israel and Iran, to participate in good faith in the United Nations-sponsored conference that will be hosted by Finland to prepare the foundations for such an agreement.
                       
The U.S. has little authority to call on others not to pursue nuclear weapons technology while at the same time we hold a vast nuclear arsenal of our own, indeed the U.S. and Russia hold over 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal. If we are to build a future worthy of our proud past, we must face our double standard and rapidly move towards the only real solution - global zero. The only way to insure that nuclear weapons will never be used again is to eliminate all existing nuclear weapons and prevent all states from acquiring or reacquiring them in the future.