October 23, 2013

Regarding the Oct. 18 editorial “Iran’s sticking point”:

The  Post editorial board is wrong. Unfortunately for those of us committed to the global abolition of nuclear weapons and power, starting here in the United States, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) most certainly does guarantee all signatories an equal right to enrich uranium.

The specific language is in Article IV, which lays out the rights of non-nuclear weapons states, such as Iran. It guarantees “the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy.” The right to produce nuclear energy includes enriching the uranium to fuel that energy. The fact that some countries choose not to exercise that right, instead purchasing enriched uranium from abroad, does not change that right.

The United States and other states that possess nuclear weapons should look more carefully at their own obligations under Article VI of the NPT — which calls for “nuclear disarmament” and “general and complete disarmament.” Moving to implement those obligations would go far toward reaching a real nuclear agreement with Iran.

Phyllis Bennis, Washington

The writer is director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.