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Military Action Cannot Prevent Nuclear Proliferation
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