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HOME > NPEC/FPI Event: Tightening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Rules      
NPEC/FPI Event: Tightening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Rules

Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Lunch and registration: 11:45 am to 12:00 pm
Discussion: 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Location: Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building

 
Panel I
 
Ambassador John Bolton
Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
 
Congressman Ed Markey
U.S. Representative for Massachusetts 7th congressional district
 
Panel II
 
Henry Sokolski
Executive Director, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
 
Jamie M. Fly
Executive Director, Foreign Policy Initiative
 
Daryl Kimball
Executive Director, Arms Control Association
 
Kingston Reif
Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
 
 
As the United States, Germany, and the other members of the United Nations Security Council prepare to negotiate with Iranian officials over Tehran's nuclear program, the world's civilian nuclear supplier states are engaged in an intense competition to secure more "peaceful" civilian nuclear exports to Jordan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Iran, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
 
None of the key nuclear suppliers, including the U.S., has challenged these potential customers' claimed "right" to make their own nuclear fuel even though this process can bring states (including Iran) within weeks or months of acquiring nuclear weapons. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, and Vietnam have already objected to suggestions that they forgo exercising this option. 
 
These trends are troubling. Yet, the last civilian nuclear cooperative agreement the U.S. reached offered hope all this might be avoided. It required the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to forswear making nuclear fuel and adopt intrusive international nuclear inspections. It was heralded as the new nonproliferation "Gold Standard" for nuclear cooperation.  
 
When the House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously reported out legislation (H.R. 1280) that would require a joint resolution for any U.S. nuclear cooperative agreement that failed to meet this set of nonproliferation conditions, though, industry, State and the Energy Department all objected. Demanding Congress vote on such matters, they claimed, would have a chilling effect on U.S. nuclear export sales and, therefore reduce U.S. influence. More recently, both Republicans and Democrats protested the Obama Administration's stated desire to abandon the Gold Standard and to negotiate nonproliferation conditions for nuclear cooperation instead on a case-by-case basis. Rumor now has it that State has called for an inter-agency review.
 
How, then, should the U.S. and other nuclear supplier states proceed? Should Congress simply give into industry and the Energy Department's arguments and abandon HR 1280 or legislation like it? Or should the Executive try to coop the Hill by promoting the Gold Standard? In either case, how successful might either Congress or the Executive be in persuading the other key nuclear supplier states -- France, Russia, Japan, Korea, and China -- to do likewise? If no attempt is made or it fails, what impact, if any, might this have on nuclear proliferation?
 
Come join us Wednesday, May 16th in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2200, from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm to examine these questions and more at our event, "Tightening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Rules: The Role of Congress and the Executive," which will feature a spectrum of presentations from Ambassador John Bolton to Congressman Ed Markey, Henry Sokolski of The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, Jamie Fly of the Foreign Policy Initiative, Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association and Kingston Reif of the Center for Nonproliferation and Arms Control. A modest lunch offering will be made available.
 
Listen to the audio of the event: audio/mpeg iconAudio.FPI_NPECevent5.16.12.MP3
Read the transcript

Video Part One


Video Part Two


 

The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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